Eligibility for Pay

The table below is an extract from the University’s Maternity Leave Policy and Procedure and should be read in conjunction with this.

If, having done so, you have any questions as to entitlements, please contact the Payroll Team.

Type of Leave/Scheme

Length of Continuous Service/Earnings criteria

Maternity Leave


University Maternity Scheme

(a) At least 12 months continuous service with the University of Sheffield by the expected week of childbirth (EWC), which means the week starting on a Sunday, during which the member of staff’s doctor or midwife expects her to give birth.


(b) Provides a written undertaking to return to their post for a minimum of three months following the end of the maternity leave period (see paragraphs 15.8 and 16.2) via notification form.


(c) Provides written notification of their intention to take leave (see section 3) and a MATB1 certificate.


(d) Pregnant at the 11th week before the EWC (or have had the baby by that time).


(e) Will have stopped working to take maternity leave.


Up to 52 weeks

Staff who qualify for the University Maternity Scheme will be entitled to choose either Option A or B (both of which are inclusive of any entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay – see Statutory Maternity Scheme below for SMP criteria/pay):


Option A: 39 week paid leave option
18 weeks at full pay; + 21 weeks at the appropriate rate of SMP; + up to 13 weeks AML unpaid.




Option B: 45 week paid leave option
12 weeks full pay; + 12 weeks half pay; + 15 weeks at the appropriate rate of SMP; + 6 weeks’ pay equivalent to SMP paid by the University, + up to 7 weeks AML unpaid.

Statutory Maternity Scheme

At least 26 weeks of continuous service at the 15th week before the EWC (This 15th week is known as the Qualifying Week (QW)).

For the eight weeks prior to the end of the qualifying week have been earning on average not less than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contribution purposes.

(and points c-e above)

Up to 52 weeks

Option C: SMP Only
6 weeks at the equivalent of 90% of the member of staff’s average weekly earnings;


A flat rate payment for a further 33 weeks, which is the lesser of:

  • the standard rate of SMP (paid at a rate set by the government for the relevant tax year, see GOV.UK for current values) OR
  • 90% of the member of staff’s average weekly earnings calculated over a period of eight weeks up to and including the qualifying week;


Up to 13 weeks AML unpaid.


Maternity Allowance (MA)

Potentially available to those with less than 26 weeks’ service prior to the 15th week before the EWC if:


  • Employed for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before the EWC (with any employer) + meet an average weekly earnings limit defined by the state.
Up to 52 weeks

Option D: Maternity Allowance (Statutory)
Up to 39 weeks Maternity Allowance (MA) (provided not working during this time); + up to 13 weeks unpaid leave.


Eligibility determined and payment made by the Job Centre Plus.


Further guidance and support 

FamilyFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions relating to all aspects of family leave, the FAQs below have been developed to support and guide both staff and managers.

FamilyFamily Leave

If you need information, guidance and support relating any of the family leave provisions available to staff at the University of Sheffield, this can be found at the link below.

FamilyCharities & Support Networks

The following links provide details of charities and support networks which may be helpful to both staff and managers.

JuiceJuice, Everyday Health & Wellbeing

Juice helps you take care of your everyday health and wellbeing at work, bringing together a range of services, guidance and activities, creating a remarkable place to work and further information can be found at the link below.

Looking for something else?

There is a wealth of information, guidance and support available from Human Resources relating to all aspects of employment and supporting policies and procedures. An index of information can be found at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/guidance/index

Alternatively, if you are unable to find the information you require, please contact your HR Team contact