Benefits for Students in Scotland Handbook
Part 1: Benefits and tax credits
Chapter 9: Maternity, paternity and adoption benefits
1. What are maternity, pa...
Statutory maternity pay
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Statutory maternity pay

You can get statutory maternity pay (SMP) for 39 weeks if you are pregnant or have just had a baby, have an employer and earn at least £118 a week (April 2019 rate).


Maternity allowance

If you cannot get SMP but you have recently worked, either employed or self-employed, you may be able to get maternity allowance (MA) for 39 weeks. You may also qualify if you have helped your partner with her/his self-employment. See CPAG's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for details.


Statutory paternity pay

You can get statutory paternity pay (SPP) for two weeks if your partner is having a baby and you are taking leave from work to care for her or for the child. You can also get statutory shared parental pay (SSPP) in some circumstances. See CPAG's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for details. Unmarried partners, including same-sex partners, can claim SPP.


Statutory adoption pay

You can get statutory adoption pay (SAP) for 39 weeks if you are adopting a child and are earning at least £118 a week from employment (April 2019 rate). If a couple (including same-sex couples) are adopting a child, one can claim SAP and the other can claim SPP for two weeks (or SSPP, in some circumstances).


Statutory shared parental pay

You or your partner can get SSPP instead of SMP, MA or SAP in certain circumstances. 


2. Who is eligible


Students are eligible for maternity, paternity and adoption benefits if they pass the basic rules for these. See CPAG's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for details. What follows is a brief outline of the qualifying conditions.


Statutory maternity pay

You can get statutory maternity pay (SMP) if: you are pregnant or have recently had a baby; you have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before your expected week of birth; your average gross earnings are at least £118 a week (April 2019 rate); and you give your employer the correct notice.


Maternity allowance

You can get maternity allowance (MA) if you cannot get SMP and: you are pregnant or have recently had a baby; you have worked, either as an employee or self-employed, for at least 26 weeks out of the 66 weeks before the expected week of birth; and your average earnings are at least £30 a week.


Statutory paternity pay

You can get statutory paternity pay (SPP) if: you are the child's father or partner of the child's mother and you will be caring for the child or supporting the mother; you have worked for the same employer for 41 weeks before the baby is born; your average gross earnings are at least £118 a week (April 2019 rate); and you give your employer the correct notice. You can also get SPP if you are adopting a child – you cannot get SPP for adoption and statutory adoption pay (SAP) at the same time, although one member of a couple can claim SAP while the other claims SPP (for adoption).


Statutory adoption pay

You can get SAP if: you are adopting a child; you have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks ending with the week in which you are told you have been matched with a child for adoption; your average gross earnings are at least £118 a week (April 2019 rate); and you give your employer the correct notice.


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