Shared Parental Leave
Shared Parental Leave is a new right that will enable eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share their time off work after their child is born or placed into a family.
An employee may be entitled to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if:
- their baby is due on or after 5 April 2015
- they adopt a child on or after 5 April 2015
Parents will have the right to share up to 50 weeks of SPL ( as maternity leave has a mandatory two weeks following the birth or four weeks if employee works within a factory settings). If they elect to do so, the mother hands over her maternity or adoption leave and the maternity leave becomes a “shared parental leave”. If parents decide to do so, maternity or adoption pay stops and statutory shared parental pay becomes payable. It becomes a bit more complex if parents decide to take it in turns within the 50 week period.
The intention of shared parental leave was always that both parents could take paid leave at the same time, by both being on SPL. The mother can start SPL even though the father may not have taken his ordinary OPL ( two weeks paid leave to be taken within 56 days of the birth). However if the father starts SPL before he has taken OPL, he will lose the right to OPL.
SPL and ShPP must be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday (or within 1 year of adoption).
In some instances it might only be one parent eligible to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). This means that they can’t share the leave between them.
Employee partner’s eligibility
During the 66 weeks before the baby is due employee’s partner must:
- have been working for at least 26 weeks (they don’t need to be in a row)
- have earned at least £30 a week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks
They can be employed, self-employed or an agency worker.
Shared Parental Leave
To qualify for Shared Parental Leave (SPL), employee must share care of the child with either:
- their husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
- the child’s other parent
- their partner (if they live with you and the child)
The employee and their partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave, maternity allowance or adoption pay or leave.
Employee must also:
- have been employed continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or by the date you are matched with your adopted child)
- be employed by the same employer while they take SPL.
Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)
Employee will also qualify for ShPP if one of the following applies:
- they qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay or Statutory Adoption pay
- they qualify for Statutory Paternity Pay and have a partner who qualifies for Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption pay.
Statutory Shared Parental Pay rate
ShPP is paid at the rate of £138.18 a week or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.