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Pregnancy

What's a MAT B1 form and how do I get one?

Even when you’re growing life you can’t escape boring paperwork.

You need a Mat B1 form so you can get maternity pay and other benefits. 

What’s a MAT B1 form? 

A MAT B1 form, sometimes called a Maternity Certificate, is a form to prove to your employer (or the government) you’re pregnant and your due date. Yes, it’s a bit of tedious paperwork but really important to get sorted so you can get paid time off after your baby is born. 

You should get one at your 20-week appointment when you usually have a scan too. But if you don’t you can ask your midwife or GP for it. 

What do I need it for? 

It’s to prove you’re pregnant and when you’re due so your employer can sort your maternity pay. You need one if you’re full time, part-time, self-employed and even if you’re not working. 

If you have a job your MAT B1 lets you claim Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from your employer. Self-employed or don’t work? You’ll need it to claim your Maternity Allowance from the government, an alternative to SMP. 

Will I get SMP or Maternity Allowance? 

If you have a full-time job you’ll usually get SMP, for up to 39 weeks. For the first six weeks, it’s 90% of your average weekly pay before tax. And for the next 33 weeks, it’s £148.68 or 90% of your average weekly pay (whatever is lower). 

You can get SMP if you:

  • earn £120 or more a week
  • have had the same employer all the time for 26 weeks or more including during a qualifying week (which is the 15th week before your due date week)
  • give your employer your MAT B1 form at least 15 weeks before your due date.

If you don’t fit neatly into this category or are self-employed or don’t work you can apply for Maternity Allowance. 

You might  be able to get Maternity Allowance if you: 

  • have a job but you don’t fit the list of things you need to get SMP
  • are self-employed and pay Class 2 National Insurance
  • don’t have a job.

There are different levels of maternity allowance and you could get £151.97 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is less) for 39 weeks or £27 a week for 39 weeks or £27 a week for 14 weeks. 

You can get SMP or MA payments from 11 weeks before you have your baby. 

What should I do when I get my MAT B1 form? 

Once you get your form, sign it and get a copy so if you lose the original things don’t get held up. 

Then you need to give it to your employer (if you have one) before you’re 25 weeks pregnant. They definitely need it by 15 weeks before the week you’re due to have your baby. Make sure you let your boss or HR department know (in writing) your due date and when you want your maternity leave and pay to start. 

Have more than one job? Both employers need a copy.

Don’t have a job or think you won’t get SMP? You need to fill in a Maternity Allowance (MA1) claim form before you’re 25 weeks pregnant. 

Now you’ve got your head around maternity certificates, read more about benefits you can get in pregnancy

Read: Everything you need to know about maternity pay & leave

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