If a pregnant employee is made redundant before commencing maternity leave can their employer pay their statutory maternity pay in one lump sum?

Yes, statutory maternity pay (SMP) can be paid as a lump sum but the employer and employee may end up paying slightly more national insurance than if SMP is paid on the normal pay day (because one large payment is being made). In normal circumstances it is not recommended that employers pay SMP as a lump sum in case something changes during the SMP period to disqualify the employee from receiving it (for example, the employee works beyond the 10 keeping-in-touch days). However, in a redundancy situation it may be more practical to pay the employee their SMP at the outset, rather than keep them on the payroll.