Directors Maternity Leave

Good Evening,

I'm going around in circles with this, hopefully someone can put me on the right track.

I met with a new client today - first meeting since accepting the engagement - and she advised me that she has just found out that her maternity cover has pulled out literally at the last minute.

The baby is due shortly but she has managed to cover her commitments until the new year, after which time she will have to work sporadically.

She is understandably not best pleased as the intention was to take proper maternity leave until Easter, and she has asked how best to structure things so that she doesn't 'lose out'.

I advised her that she can have 10 paid keeping in touch days but her previous accountant (who she saw on another matter last week) has suggested a way to keep the SMP but also cover some of her current work.... Any ideas? I have googled and checked accounting web etc, but as far as I can see it's 10 days and then she would lose SMP in any week she works...

Thanking you in advance


  • Sam22
    Sam22 Registered Posts: 117 ? ? ?
    What had her previous accountant suggested? As far as I was aware you can only do 10 KIT days before your SMP is lost. These can be taken at any time after the compulsory maternity leave period. For employees they are negotiated with their manager (although the manager cannot ask them to come in and do KIT days) and also there is no obligation for them to be paid. I've not seen anywhere that there are different rules depending on if it is a director or an employee, I've recently been on a statutory payments course and there was no mention of it just what I've already stated.
  • payrollpro
    payrollpro Registered, FMAAT Posts: 427 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    Are we talking about an owner/managed? If so then in practice she has considerable freedom. Theoretically you are right Sam22, in order to preserve her SMP she must only do 10 days work during the leave period, but in order to preserve the leave entitlement she must first be absent for two weeks and only do 10 days work. On day 11 she is actually terminating her maternity leave. The rules are only different if she is a non executive director but then she is unlikely to have a problem then. She is on payroll, she pays her NIC so she is treated as though she is an employee.

    On the assumption that it is her business then she needs to remember that the employer is responsible for ensuring she keeps to the rules and since she is the employer then that gives her a bit of flexibility. She could suspend her salary, take the SMP and claim back the recovery amount, do the work she needs to and then catch up on pay once she formally returns to work. The problem there is she will be defrauding the public purse, you would have to submit a SAR and decline to act for her otherwise place your practicing license at risk. Not a good set of options.
  • Ellabobbin
    Ellabobbin Registered Posts: 92 ? ? ?
    Thank you both... Surprisingly my predecessor hadn't mentioned the KIT days.... He just hinted around working and paying a bonus at the end of her leave... Needless to say I have advised against this! 10 days equates to almost 1 day per week between the new year and Easter, so she sees this as a workable solution.... No claiming SMP on false pretences, no spurious bonuses (and since the company is a CIC I would question whether a bonus under any circumstances would sit well) and a happy client with a legal, workable solution!
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