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For how long are the payments made and how much will they be?

The payments are made for a maximum of 26 weeks. They may be paid from the eleventh week before the baby is due, but no later than the expected week of childbirth. It is not a requirement that you work up until the eleventh week. Payments are made monthly in arrears and are only paid for complete weeks.

Maternity payments are calculated by multiplying the dentist’s gross GDS earnings in the year prior to conception (in most cases adjusted to reflect subsequent fee increases – see Table one) by a percentage specified in the determination (currently 42.6 per cent). This figure is then divided by 52 and paid over a 26-week period subject to a maximum of £1,378 per week (April 2008). In order to be eligible for payments, a minimum earnings threshold during the test period must be reached - see Table two - or the dentist must derive at least 90 per cent of her earnings from professional practice from gross earnings. Two examples below illustrate how payments are calculated (but note that the figures in Tables one and two are uprated each year by any GDS fee increase).

Example one

  • expected date of childbirth 31st December 2006

  • expected week of childbirth begins 29th December 2006

  • test period runs from 30th March 2005 to 29th March 2006

  • gross earnings during the test period £100,000

Calculate the approximate amount of maternity payments as follows:

Check that the gross earnings in the test period are above the relevant minimum earnings figure shown in table two or, if part-time, that you have more than 90 per cent NHS commitment in financial terms. 
The whole of the test period (bar two days) is between 1st April 2005 and 1st April 2006.  So, ignoring the two days, the gross earnings increased by 3.225 per cent (£100,000 x 1.03225 = £103,225).

Net earnings = 42.6 per cent of £103,225 = £43,974 or £845 per week.

Example 2

  • expected date of childbirth 1st March 2004

  • expected week of childbirth begins 1st March 2004

  • test period runs from 1st June 2002 to 2nd June 2003 
    (44 weeks in 02/03, 8 weeks in 03/04)

  • gross earnings in test period are £100,000 (£60,000 until 1st April 2002 and £40,000 to 2nd June 2003)

Calculate the payments as follows:

Check that the gross earnings meet the minimum requirement by averaging:

02/03  £22,763 x 44/52 = £19,261 
03/04  £23,497 x 8/52   = £3,614

The minimum earnings requirement is therefore exceeded.

Increase the first period of gross earnings by 3.225 per cent = £60,000 x 1.03225 = £61,935,

Total gross earnings = £61,935 + £40,000 = £101,935

Net earnings = 42.6 per cent of £101,935 = £43,424 = £ 835 per week.

If a dentist becomes pregnant again within the year of the birth, any maternity payments earned during the first pregnancy will not count in a calculation of gross earnings for the second batch of maternity payments.


Table one:  Percentage increases to gross earnings
Test period1 April 2006 - 1 April 20073 per cent
Test period1 April 2007 – 1 April 20083 per cent
Test period1 April 2008 – 1 April 20093.4 per cent


Table two: Minimum gross earnings threshold during the test period
For 2006/07£25,750
For 2007/08£26,500
For 2008/09£27,400