What pay should you receive and when?
Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP)
If you are eligible for NHS OMP, the amount is described below. In order to be eligible, you should have been working for the NHS (or an eligible partner body) for 1 year by the 25th week of pregnancy.
Notably, this does not include working solely as a locum or bank staff, even if this is in an NHS hospital.
Within this "enhanced" NHS scheme, you're entitled to:
- 8 weeks of full pay (minus SMP - statutory maternity pay)
- 18 weeks of half pay (minus SMP)
- 13 weeks of SMP (£151.97 a week)
- 13 weeks of unpaid maternity leave if you wish to take the full 52 weeks of maternity leave
Your NHS OMP is calculated on the basis of your average weekly earnings from approximately the 18th to the 25th week of your pregnancy. This would include locum shifts paid payslips received during that time, but would not include 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.
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 this criteria). For rotational trainees, you may be viewed as having multiple employers. If so 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:
All forms of Maternity Pay are 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.
Of note, NHS Lothian do not offer the facility to spread your pay across your maternity leave.
This is of particular relevance to trainees told they do not qualify for SMP due to the rotational nature of their work.
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: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance.
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 your relevant Payroll dept.