Maternity pay

For staff with babies who are due and born before 6th April 2018, please see the relevant page.

For staff with babies who are due or born on or after 6th April 2018, please see below.

Maternity leave and pay are separate entitlements. As a University of Exeter employee you will be entitled to University Maternity Pay as this is not dependant on length of service or level of pay. You may also be entitled to an element of statutory pay which is dependent on your length of service and level of pay. Statutory pay is made up of either Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA).  

University Maternity Pay

You do not need any qualifying service to receive University Maternity Pay. Your full pay is based on your salary on the first day of maternity leave. 

Statutory Maternity Pay

If you have at least 26 weeks' service at the Qualifying Week1  and your average earnings are above the lower earnings limit then you will be entitled to SMP. This is paid through the University payroll. SMP is payable for a 39-week period and is included within the weeks of full pay.

Maternity Allowance

If you have not been working at the University for 26 weeks by the qualifying week or you do not earn above the lower earnings level then you will not be entitled to SMP but may be entitled to Maternity Allowance (MA). MA is paid by the Department of Work and Pension through Jobcentre Plus. You can check your eligibility at gov.uk. If you are entitled to MA you must inform the pay and benefits team immediately. MA is payable for a 39 week period and the University will deduct any relevant amount from your full pay period.

If you are working at the University on the day you start your maternity leave and you earn above the lower earnings level, you will be eligible for the University Maternity Pay at: 
26 weeks full pay (which may be inclusive of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if you qualify), then
13 weeks at either
  • SMP at the standard rate or a rate equal to 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) if you qualify, or
  • unpaid leave for 13 weeks, then
13 weeks unpaid leave

 

If you are working at the University on the day you start your maternity and you earn below the lower earnings level and/or you do not have 26 weeks continuous service ending with the Qualifying Week you will be eligible for the University Maternity Pay and may be eligible for Maternity Allowance (DWP pay the MA) at: 
26 weeks full pay (less Maternity Allowance paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)).You should check your eligibility and apply to jobcentre plus for the allowance. Please note you are required to notify pay and benefits team of any payments you receive from DWP, then 
13 weeks

at either

  • Maternity Allowance from jobcentre plus, if eligible, or
  • unpaid leave for 13 weeks, then 
13 weeks unpaid leave

Returning to work

If you receive University Maternity Pay, the University may reclaim from you all or part of the non-statutory element of this maternity pay if you fail to return to work for at least 3 months following your maternity leave (or an equivalent period of time if you reduce your hours). This excludes any non-working periods (eg KIT days, parental leave, vacation time for term time only workers) but includes annual leave. Please see the University Policy on Overpayments for details on how the money would be repaid by you to the University. Please ensure that you can repay the University maternity pay if you do not return to work.

Unsure about returning to work

If you are eligible for University Maternity Pay but are undecided about whether you wish to return to work you may request that the UMP element of your maternity pay be deferred. If you decide to return to work then payment can be made as a lump sum. All additional payments made by the University on behalf of the employee during this time e.g. employee pension contributions, childcare vouchers, etc. would be reclaimed by the University before the lump sum is paid.

Employees on fixed term contracts

If you are employed on a fixed term contract, your employment and payment of University Maternity Pay (UMP) will end on the expiry date of the fixed term contract, although Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) will continue to be paid if eligible.

University Pension Schemes

If you are a member of one of the University's Pension Schemes please see the table below;

 USSERSSNHS
Full pay Contributions deducted from full salary. Your pension benefits continue to accrue as normal before you commenced maternity leave Contributions deducted from full salary. Your pension benefits continue to accrue as normal before you commenced maternity leave Contributions deducted from full salary. Your pension benefits continue to accrue as normal before you commenced maternity leave
SMP only Contributions are calculated and deducted based on the actual amount you receive. The employer will top up your contributions to the pre maternity leave level  Your pension benefits continue to accrue as normal as above. Contributions are calculated and deducted based on the actual amount you receive. Contributions are calculated and deducted based on the actual amount you receive. The employer will top up your contributions to the pre maternity leave level  Your pension benefits continue to accrue as normal as above.
Nil pay No pension contributions are deducted your USS membership is put into suspense. You are still covered for full life insurance but you will not accrue any pensionable benefits for the period of Nil pay. No pension contributions are deducted your ERSS membership is put into suspense. You are still covered for full life insurance but you will not accrue any pensionable benefits for the period of Nil pay. No pension contributions are deducted your NHS membership is put into suspense. You are still covered for full life insurance but you will not accrue any pensionable benefits for the period of Nil pay.
Return to work Pension contributions will recommence should there have been a gap in pension contributions due to unpaid leave you can choose to pay your contributions for the unpaid period and the University would pay its contributions.

Pension contributions will recommence.

Pension contributions will recommence should there have been a gap in pension contributions due to unpaid leave you can choose to pay your contributions for the unpaid period and the University would pay its contributions.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

If you are paying any Additional Voluntary Contributions please contact the pensions office who can advise you what happens to these upon commencement of maternity leave.

International staff

If you have a visa that allows you to live and work in the United Kingdom you may be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). If your visa includes the condition that you have “no recourse to public funds” you may still get SMP provided you satisfy the qualifying conditions. Since the qualifying conditions for SMP depend on your recent employment and earnings history, SMP is not deemed to be “public funds”.

1 Qualifying Week - for statutory maternity pay purposes, this week is the 15th week before EWC