Do you fully understand shared parental leave?

The challenges of shared parental leave

New rights to allow parents to share leave following the birth or adoption of their child have now become law as of 1st December 2014.

The new rules mean that couples with babies due, or children matched or placed for adoption, after 5 April 2015 will enable, after an initial two weeks, up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay to be shared.

So what does this mean to you as an employer?

  • 52 weeks of maternity leave will be the default position for all employed women but 50 weeks can be shared with the father as “Shared Parental Leave”
  • 39 weeks of maternity pay will be the default position for all employed women but 37 weeks maternity pay can be shared with the father as “Shared Parental Pay

Who is entitled to Shared Parental Leave (ShPL)?

To qualify a mother must:

  • Have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service at the end of the 15th week before the EWC (or the week they are notified as being matched for adoption)
  • Have the main responsibility for the care of the child (apart from the Father)
  • Be entitled to maternity leave
  • Have ended any entitlement to maternity leave by curtailing it or returning to work before the end
  • Comply with the notification and evidence requirements

Mother must also have a partner who:

  • satisfies the “earnings and employment test”, i.e. have been employed or self-employed for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to EWC/match and have earned an average of £30 a week in 13 of those weeks
  • has the main responsibility for the care of the child (apart from the mother)

A father/partner intending to take SPL must:

  • Satisfy the continuity of employment test
  • Have, at the child’s birth, the main responsibility for the care of the child;
  • Comply with the notice and evidence requirements; and

Have a partner who is the mother who:

  • meets the “employment and earnings test”
  • Has at the date of birth, the main responsibility for care of the child
  • Is entitled to maternity leave or maternity pay/allowance in respect of the child
  • Has curtailed that entitlement

Getting your head around the implications of Shared Parental Leave can be challenging. HRizon are on hand to help, contact us to find out how.