The statutory provisions for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) came into force on 1 December 2014. Under the rules, employees are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks leave upon the birth or adoption of a child, which can be shared between the parents.
Parents are not be obliged to take SPL. The default position will be 52 weeks maternity leave, with 39 weeks paid and 13 weeks unpaid.
The default position on the adoption of a child will be that the adopter will be entitled to 52 weeks adoption leave (39 weeks paid).
Yes, as has been the case for many years, the first two weeks must be taken as maternity leave.
To qualify for SPL a parent must:
Yes, in addition, a parent wanting to take SPL is required to satisfy the ‘continuity of employment test’ and their partner must meet the ‘employment and earnings test’.
The scheme makes up to 50 weeks of SPL available for eligible parents to take other than the compulsory maternity leave period or an equivalent 2 week period in adoption cases.
For 37 weeks of SPL, you are required to pay Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). This is because the first two weeks must be taken as maternity leave. The weekly rate of ShPP is the lower of:
The difference between SMP and ShPP is therefore that the latter is capped at a statutory amount for every week for which a parent claims ShPP, while SMP is payable at 90% of actual salary (with no cap) for the first six weeks of maternity leave. This means that most mothers will take maternity leave and pay for at least six weeks so as to take advantage of the higher rate.
Yes, you can recover at least 92% from the government. Small employers can reclaim 100%.
If you receive a notice of entitlement and intention to take SPL, you may request a copy of the child’s birth certificate or documents notifying the primary adopter that the child is to be placed with them, together with the name and address of the other parent’s employer.
Yes, although you do not have to agree.
You and your employee are entitled to make reasonable contact with each other during the period of SPL. The employee may work for up to 20 days during the SPL period without bringing their leave to an end. These are separate and additional to any KIT days that a woman has on maternity leave. They are referred to as “shared parental leave in touch” (SPLIT) days.
No, Additional Paternity Leave was abolished when SPL became available, meaning that the only entitlement that the child’s other parent will have is Ordinary Paternity Leave (unless they have engaged with the SPL scheme).
Our specialist solicitors advise on best practice with regards to Shared Parental Leave. This includes advice to ensure equality in the workplace and avoidance of any discriminatory practice. We can provide Shared Parental Leave policies for birth and adoptive parents.
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