NI17A - A guide to Maternity Benefits
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Payment of SMP does not depend on you intending to return to work for your employer after your baby is born. If you qualified for SMP you are entitled to get it and keep it, even if you do not return to work. Your employer cannot ask you to pay back any SMP that you have received and that you are entitled to.
You have a right to return to your former job after ordinary maternity leave on the same terms and conditions.
If you take additional maternity leave after ordinary maternity leave you have a right to return to the same job, or one with no less favourable terms and conditions if it is not possible for you to return to your former job.
If your contract of employment gives you different rights to the statutory minimum set out above, you can take advantage of whichever is better for you.
You can get more information from GOV.UK
- Maternity Leave: Returning to work (GOV.UK)
If you do not return to work for your employer after your SMP ends then you may be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. But remember that you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance only if you are capable of, available for and actively seeking work. Contact Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 66 88. If you have speech or hearing difficulties you can contact them using a textphone on 0800 023 48 88. Or you can read about Jobseekers Allowance on GOV.UK.
You do not have to pay SMP back if you do not return to work.