How is statutory maternity pay calculated?

For the first six weeks of an employee's maternity leave, statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid at 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings. For the remaining 33 weeks, SMP is paid at either the flat SMP rate (which changes annually in April), or 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings if this is lower.

For the purposes of calculating SMP, the employer must take an average of the employee's total earnings during the eight-week period leading up to the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth.