Date posted: 01/03/2007
Audience: HR Managers with responsibility for authorising maternity leave
Action: If a member is entitled to 39 weeks statutory maternity pay then you must pay employer contributions (ASLC) for the duration of their statutory maternity pay.
Timing: From 1 April 2007
- From 1 April 2007 the period over which statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid to new mothers increases from 26 weeks to 39 weeks. Women will continue to have the right to 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave (OML), with the next 26 weeks being classed as additional maternity leave.
- Whether or not the member receives SMP, pension contributions must continue to be paid during the period of OML. You must treat the member as if she is still receiving her normal salary even though she may be paying contributions based on her actual pay (see paragraphs 4 to 7 for more detail on the impact on employer and member contributions).
- If a member is on unpaid additional maternity leave then her service does not reckon for pension and no contributions are required from the employee or the employer.
Employer contributions (ASLCs)
- As now, you must pay an ASLC in respect of all members of classic, classic plus and premium. If the member is receiving SMP, or is on OML, then you should pay an ASLC based on the salary they would be receiving if they were still at work.
Employer contributions (partnership)
- You must continue to pay the normal age related contribution in respect of partnership members who are receiving SMP, or are on OML, based on the salary they would be receiving if they were still at work. You should also continue to match the member’s gross contributions, up to 3% of the salary they would be receiving if they were still at work.
- In line with existing practice, a member receiving SMP, or on OML, is required to pay contributions on the income they actually receive. This means they will pay a reduced contribution during periods when their SMP is not topped up to full pay.
- As now, a member receiving SMP, or on OML, may opt to either pay contributions on the income they actually receive, or stop paying added years contributions. You should advise them to contact their APAC to discuss what options they have and the impact these options have on their benefits.
“Keeping in touch” days
- The new maternity leave regulations permit the member and employer to agree a number of “keeping in touch” days. These are days when the member comes to work and gets paid but which do not bring the maternity leave to the end. These days are paid service which is treated in the same way as any other paid service.
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