Find out if your employees are entitled to Statutory Maternity or Paternity Pay and if not, what else might be available. Plus, find out the statutory rates from April 2021.

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Pregnancy and Parenting Guide

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Statutory Maternity Pay

To be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) your salon or barbershop employee must:

• Have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks when they reach the 15th week before the expected week of the baby’s birth.
• Give you the right amount of notice of when they want their Statutory Maternity Pay to start (find out more on the GOV.UK website).
• Give you proof they’re pregnant (doctor’s letter or maternity certificate).
• Have earned at least £120  (2021/2022 figures) a week in the past eight weeks (if paid weekly) or two months (if paid monthly).
• Be on your payroll in the ‘qualifying week - the 15th week before the baby is due.

 Under the statutory scheme, your employee will be entitled to up to 39 weeks of pay:

• They should be paid 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first six weeks.
• For the next 33 weeks, they are paid either £151.97 a week (from April 2021) or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

 Employers pay SMP but can claim back between 92% and 103% from HMRC. You can use the GOV.UK calculator to work out an employee’s maternity leave pay.

 Find out more about Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave on the GOV.UK website.

 Your employee may also be entitled to Shared Parental Leave or Pay – find out more below.

Maternity Allowance: If your employee is not entitled to SMP, they may be able to get Maternity Allowance (see below).


Maternity Allowance for stylists, beauty therapists and barbers

If your employee is not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay, they may be able to get Maternity Allowance. This is paid by the government, not the employer.

To qualify, an individual must have:
• been employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the week the baby is due; and
• earned at least £30 a week in any 13 weeks of those 26 weeks.

Maternity Allowance is 90% of their average weekly earnings or £151.97 a week (from April 2021), whichever is lower.

Statutory Paternity Pay for salon and barbershop employees

If your employee’s partner is:
• having a baby;
• adopting a child;
• having a baby via surrogacy

They may be eligible for:

• One or two weeks’ paid Paternity Leave.
• Paternity Pay.
• Shared Parental Leave and Pay (see below).

To qualify, your employee must:

• Have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due (the ‘qualifying week’).
• Be employed by you up to the date of birth.
• Earn at least £120  (2021/2022 figures) a week (before tax).
• Give the correct notice (at least 15 weeks before the baby is due; they must give you form SC3, or their own version of this).

Adoption and surrogacy: find out how the rules are applied for adoption and surrogacy at GOV.UK.

For 2021/2022, paternity pay is £151.97 a week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) may also be available to your salon or barbershop employees. Find out more at GOV.UK

Jack's Law - paid bereavement leave

Parents in the UK who lose a child will be entitled to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave from April 2020.

The new law, known as 'Jack's Law', applies to parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or who suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. They will be able to take bereavement leave as a single block of two weeks or as two separate blocks of one week during the first year after the death. All employees will have this right, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer. 

New for 2023: Paid Leave for parents of premature babies

Plans to give parents of premature babies paid leave in addition to maternity/paternity leave have been unveiled by the government. This will probably come into force in 2023.

Currently, maternity/paternity leave starts the day after the baby is born, even if the baby is born prematurely. Under the new scheme, parents will be able to claim statutory paid leave for every week their baby is in neonatal care. This will be in addition to maternity/paternity leave and will be paid for by the government for a maximum of 12 weeks.


• Check if your employee is eligible for Statutory Maternity or Paternity Pay.
• Understand how much they should be paid.
• Make sure employees who are not eligible know about Maternity Allowance.
• Be aware that your employee may want Shared Parental Pay and take the time to understand what’s available.

More from the NHBF

Need help with employee issues such as working out annual leave, the minimum wage or maternity rights? If so, become an NHBF Member for less than 80p a day, which is incredible value for money. You’ll have access to our friendly and knowledgeable membership team who can help with day-to-day employee matters as well as our free 24/7 legal helpline for expert advice on a wide range of HR issues. Join today. You’ll wonder what you did without us!

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