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Car allowance & maternity leave

(7 Posts)
lilydaisyrose Wed 10-Aug-16 12:46:34

Hi there,

I am due to go onto maternity leave in early December. As part of my employment contract/salary, I receive a car allowance on top of my usual salary. This is £159.00 per month gross (part time). This is for using my own car for work - wear & tear, tyres, car tax, business insurance etc. I do home visit appointments as part of my job. I also receive petrol expenses (at a lower rate than if I didn't have a car allowance!) for the miles I actually do to/from home visits, which I submit expenses claims for. I hope that makes sense!

Anyway, my question is - will I receive maternity pay based on salary calculations including the car allowance while on maternity leave and receiving enhanced pay (my company offer enhanced maternity leave of 6 weeks full pay and 14 weeks at half pay plus SMP then SMP for remaining 19 weeks)?

I've had a google and there doesn't appear to be a set law (I'm in Scotland if that counts, not sure if it does for employment law) - it appears to depend on the whim/goodwill of the individual employer. I just wondered if anyone knows if this is correct and I'll find out in time, or if there is any case law/law on employee benefits at all?

I don't really want a debate on whether I should or not, I'm just interested for maternity pay calculation purposes. I don't want to ask my employer as if I highlight this, then they may decide not to use it in their calculations and otherwise not have noticed! To complicate things, I'm the only person in my company on my particular contract as I was TUPE'd from another company 3 years ago and my maternity policy from my previous company still stands, no-one else at my current job has a car allowance except me, so no-one else at my current employer will have been on maternity leave with this issue before!

Thanks in advance!

redhat Wed 10-Aug-16 12:49:54

any payment liable to NICs is taken into account when calculating statutory mat pay. As such, your car allowance will be part of the statutory mat pay calculation.

No obligation to include it for anything over and above statutory since that element is something voluntary on the part of the employer.

I'm an employment lawyer.

lilydaisyrose Wed 10-Aug-16 13:29:38

Thanks for your reply redhat. I appreciate your professional advice.

I'm sorry I'm a bit dim. Does that mean my own calculations re. 6W @ full pay and 14w @ half pay plus SMP should be done on my salary minus my car allowance?

caroldecker Wed 10-Aug-16 14:31:41

I think redhat says the enhanced bit is up to the employer - so for your calculations I would assume not included and have a nice surprise if it is, rather than rely on it.

redhat Wed 10-Aug-16 15:53:52

Only the SMP takes the car allowance into account.

The enhanced bit is up to the employer, they might include it, they might not.

SMP is 6 weeks at 90 percent of average weekly earnings followed by 33 weeks at £139.58 (unless 90% of your weekly pay is below this).

So the car allowance will be included for the purposes of calculating the first 6 weeks at 90 percent of earnings.

It won't be included for the additional 10 percent during the first 6 weeks or the 14 weeks of top up pay unless your employer wants to include it.

I would proceed on the basis that you will get 90 percent of it for the first six weeks only.

You won't get the petrol/mileage since this is business use only and is paid by way of a reimbursement.

lilydaisyrose Wed 10-Aug-16 20:20:37

Thank you for all your help!

user1468321775 Wed 07-Sep-16 22:06:27

The company don't have to include it but in my experience most will continue to pay. It usually comes down to what they would do if someone has a car - they are not likely to take it off then when they are off so most will try and stay consistent with those receiving allowances too.

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