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Maternity definitions

New or expectant mother

A member of staff who:

  • is pregnant
  • has given birth within the previous six months
  • is breastfeeding

Given birth

A member of staff who has delivered a living child, or after 24 weeks of pregnancy, a still born child.

Expected week of confinement (EWC)/childbirth

The EWC is the week beginning Sunday and ending Saturday in which it is expected that childbirth will take place.


The certificate confirming pregnancy given to the mother by the midwife at around 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Statutory maternity pay (SMP)

This is a statutory payment set by the Government, which is payable to all staff with at least 26 weeks’ service by the qualifying week.

Occupational maternity pay (OMP)

The pay a member of staff is entitled to from the organisation, provided they meet the eligibility criteria detailed in the maternity leave procedure.

Higher rate statutory maternity pay (SMP)

90% of the member of staff’s average weekly earnings before tax.

Lower rate statutory maternity pay (SMP)

Flat rate of statutory maternity pay.

Keep in touch (KIT) day

Days for staff on maternity leave to keep in touch with work colleagues.

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