Employee Relations, HR

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental leave has been introduced to allow parents to have flexibility around leave after a baby is born or placed following adoption.

Shared Parental Leave may be requested by eligible parents with babies due or children placed for adoption on or after the 5 April 2015.

It allows parents to have one parent taking the lead caring role or to share the leave evenly, take leave together or even, depending on the needs of the business, take it in blocks of discontinuous leave. This will allow more flexibility for parents around arranging care and give both parents the ability to take leave. Certain criteria need to be met in order for parents to be entitled to the leave.

The employee or the employee’s partner seeking to have shared parental leave must be entitled to Maternity Pay or Leave or Maternity Allowance or Adoption Pay or Leave.

The 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 you take SPL

The Employees Partners Eligibility:

  • 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 any of the 66 weeks leading up to the baby’s expected due date/matching date

Impact on your organisation:

You are advised to work with your HR Consultant who can produce for you a Shared Parental Leave Policy that covers these statutory requirements but that is also tailored to your business.

You need to decide in advance, where possible, how you will manage request for discontinuous leave.

You need to be aware of the time-scales of notice the employees need to give you and how the “default provisions” may impact on how you manage these requests.

We would advise you to keep up to date with how this legislation is applied in practice as it is new and very complex, which leads us HR professionals to expect the finer details may be subject to change!

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