What pay should you receive and when?


Pay during Maternity, Shared Parental and Adoption Leave

Terms around maternity pay can be confusing, we have tried to make them clearer below. The policies for all types of leave are now standardised across NHS Scotland and can be found here

Occupational maternity pay (OMP)

This is the enhanced pay that you receive as a result of employment through the NHS. To qualify for this, you will need to have been working for 12 months by the 29th week of pregnancy. This can be across multiple health boards and includes the NHS across the four nations. It would also include working in another job type within the NHS (e.g. as a HCSW). Notably, it does not include working solely as a locum or bank even if this is in an NHS hospital.

It is calculated on the average weekly earnings in the two monthly payslips before the end of the “qualifying week” which is the 15th week before the baby is due (weeks 18-25). This is currently calculated as 8 weeks full pay and 18 weeks half pay. This would include locum shifts paid on those payslips during that time but not repayment of expenses such as travel expenses. If your pay subsequently rises (eg due to moving up a pay band), you should contact HR to ensure that your maternity pay is recalculated. (This would not include increasing LTFT percentage.)

You must continue to work for the NHS for 13 weeks after maternity leave to be entitled to OMP. This can be in any NHS trust or board and in any capacity. This also includes accrued annual leave. Importantly, if your contract ends while you are on maternity leave, you do not have to return to work in the NHS.

Of note, NHS Lothian do not offer the facility to spread your pay across your maternity leave.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, the doctor must have been employed by the same employer for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the EWC. She must also have average earnings of at least the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance purposes (most trainees will meet the latter criteria). For rotational trainees, you may be viewed as having a single employer. If not, fear not, you will be able to apply for maternity allowance as detailed below. The up to date rate of SMP is to be found here: /maternity-pay-leave/pay.

SMP continues for up to 39 weeks, and in the weeks when you are on half pay will be in addition to your OMP. It is subject to tax and NI.

Unpaid Occupational Leave

If you take a full year’s leave, note that the final 13 weeks will be unpaid. You may still receive small amounts of income during this period in the form of tax back on the basis that your yearly earnings are less than anticipated by HMRC.

Shared Parental Leave

To be eligible to take SPL the parent taking it must:

· have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before their baby is due or their adoption match date

· still be working for the same employer a week before the start of each block of leave they take.

Up to the expected birth date or adoption match date, the other parent must have:

· worked for at least 26 of 66 weeks

· earned an average of at least £30 a week in any 13 weeks

You may choose to end maternity leave early to access shared parental leave.

Shared Parental Pay (SPP) is calculated in the same way as SMP and OMP. You may choose to share the OMP period with your partner if you both work in the NHS, but the parent giving birth is obliged to take at least two week’s maternity leave. If your partner works outwith the NHS, they may have more or less generous OMP terms so it may be worth making enquiries.

Maternity Allowance

You may be entitled to this if in the 66 weeks before your baby is due you have been:

· employed or registered as self-employed for at least 26 weeks

· earning (or classed as earning) £30 a week or more in at least 13 weeks - the weeks do not have to be together.

You may qualify if you have recently stopped working. You can have had different jobs or periods of unemployment. Further details and current rates are available here: /maternity-allowance.

Adoption Leave

You are eligible for adoption leave if you

- are the primary carer in the adoption arrangement made by an official adoption agency, or you are the intended parent through a surrogacy arrangement and commit to applying for a parental or adoption order (see /legal-rights-when-using-surrogates-and-donors); and

- ii) you have 12 months’ continuous service one or more NHS employers by either:

- a) the beginning of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption; or b) the 15th week before the baby’s due date if applying via a surrogacy arrangement and where the employee is eligible and intends to apply for a parental order;

- iii) they notify their employer in writing before the end of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption, or by the 15th week before the baby’s due date if applying via a surrogacy arrangement:

- (a) of their intention to take adoption leave; (b) of the date they wish to start their adoption leave (c) that they intend to return to work with the same or another NHS employer for a minimum period of three months after their adoption leave has ended; (d) and provide written confirmation from their placing authority of the matching decision or a parental statutory declaration that they intend to apply for a parental order in the case of a surrogacy arrangement.

Adoption pay composes three phases that mirror that of maternity leave. It is calculated on the average weekly earnings in the 8 week period before the matching week. Further details on these calculations are available here: /guidance/statutory-adoption-pay-manually-calculate-your-employees-payments#before-you-begin.

Importantly, even if you are not entitled to occupational pay, or even SMP, you are still entitled to take maternity leave.

Working Two Jobs

If you have a second job, for example with the university, or even a second NHS post, or also locum outwith your department before 26 weeks of pregnancy, you may choose to resume this without cutting short your maternity leave from your usual training post. You may also be entitled to a second allowance of SMP or Maternity Allowance.


You should receive paper payslips while you are on maternity leave. If you do not, contact Payroll of whoever is paying your leave.