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Shared Parental Leave

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Couples expecting a baby on or after 5th April 2015 will be eligible to take shared parental leave (SPL). As an employer, you need to ensure that you are prepared for the changes and ready to deal with requests from your employees.

What is shared parental leave?
Shared parental leave (SPL) gives parents more flexibility in how they decide to use their time off work following the birth or adoption of a child. After compulsory maternity leave has been taken, the remaining 50/48 weeks can be shared between parents and taken as SPL. This allows parents to take time off together or separately to care for their child.

Who is entitled to SPL?
Your employee is entitled to SPL if they share the main responsibility for the care of the child and are either the child’s mother or father, or partner to the mother (where the child’s father does not share the main responsibility with the mother).

The following conditions must also be fulfilled:

– Have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or by the date you’re matched with your adopted child)

– Stay with the same employer while you take SPL

– During the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due (or the week you’re matched with your adopted child) your partner must have been working for at least 26 weeks (they don’t need to be in a row) and have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they don’t need to be in a row)

Does it replace Ordinary and Additional Maternity and Paternity Leave?
Parents will still have the option to take the Ordinary and Additional Maternity Leave and Paternity leave. However the Additional Paternity Leave will no longer be available. The default scheme will be the existing maternity leave arrangements in the event that SPL is not requested.

Can fathers or partners of mothers take Paternity leave and SPL?
Yes, however once they start SPL they will lose any untaken paternity leave entitlement. SPL entitlement is additional to their paternity leave entitlement.

What steps do employers need to take?
Business owners and employers are advised to prepare for this in advance of requests to take shared parental leave.

You should:
• Develop a comprehensive policy to explain the concept of shared parental leave
• Set out how much shared parental leave is available
• Clarify who is eligible for shared parental leave
• Be clear on the notice requirements for shared parental leave
• State what happens in cases where continuous and discontinuous periods of shared parental are leave is requested
• Consider how much shared parental pay is available

If you would like any further advice, then please do not hesitate to contact the office on 01270 250800. Or alternatively, you can email us on .