If a part-time employee temporarily increases their hours for a period prior to maternity leave, on what basis should their maternity pay be calculated?

The calculation of statutory maternity pay (SMP) depends on an employee's average weekly earnings in the "relevant period". The relevant period is the period between the last normal pay day before the Saturday at the end of the qualifying week, and the last normal pay day at least eight weeks before that date. Average weekly earnings are calculated by averaging the employee's pay per week during this period. All earnings paid in the relevant period (including bonuses, commission, shift allowances and overtime payments) must be taken into account.

If the employee's increase in hours is during the relevant period, their SMP will therefore be calculated according to the higher level of earnings during that period.