Maternity leave guide published by HM Revenue and Customs

New maternity leave guidance in relation to non-cash benefits has been published by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department.

It comes ahead of changes to the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), which will affect women whose expected week of childbirth (EWC) falls after 5 October 2008.

The booklet details how the provision of non-cash benefits during maternity leave will continue throughout additional and statutory maternity leave.

It also offers examples of how to calculate salary sacrifice arrangements as part of a flexible benefit scheme, whereby the employee agrees to change their contract by reducing their contractual entitlement to pay in return for a non-cash benefit (the value of which may equate to the amount of salary sacrificed).

The booklet also makes it clear that the calculation of statutory maternity pay (SMP) should be based on the employee’s gross salary before any sacrifice is made.

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