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FAQ: Statutory Paternity Pay


If you are not familiar with some of the terms used please see Glossary of terms used for an explanation.

Need more help?

If you have any other questions relating to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) which have not been covered you can get more help by calling the Employer Helpline , or you can send an email and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will reply within two working days.

How much SPP can my employee get?

If your employee meets all the qualifying conditions you should pay them the lower of either the standard rate which is currently £124.88 or 90 per cent of their average weekly earnings for each week of their leave. They may choose to take one or two consecutive weeks leave but not two separate weeks. To see if your employee satisfies the conditions, follow the flowchart - Operating the Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) Schemes (PDF 30K) to see if SPP should be paid. The SPP calculator (adoption) or SPP calculator (birth) will help you to work out whether you should pay SPP to your employee and how much you should pay.

What information do I need from my employee before I pay SPP?

You must give your employee a Declaration of Family Commitment to be signed and returned to you. The declaration form will depend upon the reason for Paternity Pay. For Paternity Pay for birth give your employee form SC3 (PDF 79K), for adoption form SC4 (PDF 97K) and for adoption from abroad give them form SC5 (PDF 33K). Your employee does not need to provide you with a copy of the MATB1 or the matching certificate relating to the birth or adoption.

My employee doesn't qualify for SPP, what do I do?

If your employee does not meet all the qualifying conditions see flowchart Operating the Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) Schemes (PDF 48K) you do not have to pay SPP. Instead you should return the Declaration of Family Commitment to your employee after taking a photocopy for your records. Then complete form SPP1 (PDF 27K), explaining why you cannot pay them SPP, and give it to your employee.

The baby was born a month ago. Can my employee still get SPP now?

Your employee has the right to choose when they want to take leave, providing they give you 28 days notice and the chosen leave is completed within eight weeks after the date of birth.

Is SPP subject to tax and National Insurance contributions?

Yes, SPP is regarded as earnings for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and National Insurance contributions (NICs). But it may be that the earnings will not be high enough to attract payment of NICs and may also produce a tax rebate.

Can I recover the SPP paid to my employees?

Yes, but the amount you get back depends on your total gross NICs liability you pay HMRC. For more information see Recovering Statutory Payments

What records must I keep?

You must keep a copy of the Declaration of family commitment. Records of the payment dates and amount paid, the date the pay period began, along with a record of any unpaid SPP with reasons why. Form P11 and relevant End of Year forms should also be completed. For more information see Keeping records.