To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the impact of the level of statutory maternity pay on the ability of couples to afford to start a family.
4 November 2021
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is intended to provide a measure of financial security to allow women in the later stages of pregnancy, and shortly after birth, to take time away from work to protect their health and safety and that of their baby. It is not intended to assist with the costs associated with the birth of a new child or to replace a woman's earnings completely.
The rate of SMP is reviewed annually. Generally, it is increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index. Any decision to amend the rate of SMP would need to be made with consideration to the impact on employers and in the context of the wider public finances.