A new system was introduced on 1st December 2014 for any child that is born or adopted after 5th April 2015. Shared Parental Leave (ShPL) will allow parents to share the care of the child up to one year old.
Mothers will still be required to take a minimum of two weeks compulsory Maternity Leave or 4 if the mother is a factory worker, however they can then choose to share any remaining leave entitlement with their partner or the father or the child. The same applies to any unused Statutory Maternity Pay entitlement that will become Shared Parental Leave Pay.
- The child’s mother or adoptive parent must be entitled to Maternity Leave & Pay, Adoptive Leave and Pay or Maternity Allowance
- The employee must have worked for at least 26 continuous weeks, by the qualifying week (15th week before the baby’s due date or the date of the adoption match).
- The employee must remain employed whilst taking the leave
- The employee must sign a declaration to confirm that their partner meets the criteria
- The employee should notify you at least 8 weeks in advance, providing details of the amount of leave and pay entitlement they have remaining
- If the partner end their maternity or adoption leave early, the employee is able to take the remaining pay and leave
- Partners must give at least 8 weeks notice to return to work, however ShPL can start during the notice period
- Parents can choose how to split the leave and pay, with them either taking time off at the same time or on separate occasions
- Employees can choose to take the leave in up to three discontinuous blocks (or more at the discretion of the Company)
- If leave is taken in a continuous block, then subject to the employee meeting the criteria, their request cannot be refused
- If leave is taken in discontinuous blocks, the request can be declined however employers are advised against this as it is not good practice
- Employees can take up to 20 Shared Parental Leave Keeping in Touch Days, without bring the ShPL to an end