Shared Parental Leave

What is Shared Parental Leave?

The Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 which came into effect on 1 December 2014 apply to babies due or adoption placement on or after 5 April 2015.
The Purpose of SPL is to share the maternity leave and pay which previously applied to the mother only and create flexibility over how a child is cared for in its’ first year

How is SPL different from Maternity and Paternity leave?

  • It can be taken in blocks of leave throughout the year of a least a week rather than a continuous period of leave
  • Both parents if eligible can choose to take SPL together
  • The emphasis is not wholly on the mother having care of the child, enabling the other parent to take more leave

Who is eligible to take SPL

  •  The mother/adopter; and
  • A second person, who may be the father of the child, or a person who, at the date of the child’s birth, was married to the mother or was the mother’s partner/civil partner

When is a mother eligible to take SPL?

If she is an employee and satisfies the following conditions:

  • The “Continuity of Employment” Test. She has been in continuous employment for the 26 week
    period ending with the week immediately preceding the 14th week before the expected week of birth; She remains in continuous employment with that employer until the week before any period of SPL that she takes;
  • She must have, at the date of the child’s birth, the main responsibility (disregarding the responsibility of the father or partner) for the care of the child;
  • She is entitled to statutory maternity leave in respect of the child;
  • She has ended her maternity leave early or she must have returned to work before the end of her statutory maternity leave;
  • She has provided a notice of entitlement to take SPL and her intention to exercise that right;
  • She has provided evidence by way of a copy of the child’s birth certificate and the name and address of the father’s employer if requested to do so ; and
  • She has provided a period of leave notice: the document required before a specific period of shared parental leave may be taken

and the father/partner also satisfies the following conditions:

  • In at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the expected week of birth, he must have been earning, and in relation to the tax year preceding the tax year containing the expected week of birth this should be on average not less than the ‘maternity allowance threshold’ (currently £30 a week);
  • He has, at the date of the child’s birth, the main responsibility (disregarding the responsibility of the mother) for the care of the child
  • When is a father eligible to take SPL?

    • The “Continuity of Employment” Test. He has been in continuous employment for the 26 week period ending with the week immediately preceding the 14th week before the expected week of birth; He remains in continuous employment with that employer until the week before any period of SPL that he takes;
    • He must have, at the date of the child’s birth, the main responsibility (disregarding the responsibility of the mother) for the care of the child;
    • A notice of entitlement to take SPL has been provided and the intention to exercise that right;
    • He has provided evidence by way of a copy of the child’s birth certificate and the name and address of the mother’s employer if requested to do so; and
    • He has provided a period of leave notice: the document required before a specific period of shared parental leave may be taken
    • and, the mother also satisfies the following conditions:

      • In at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the expected week of birth, she must have been earning, and in relation to the tax year preceding the tax year containing the expected week of birth this should be on average not less than the ‘maternity allowance threshold’ (currently £30 a week);
      • She has, at the date of the child’s birth, the main responsibility (disregarding the responsibility of the father) for the care of the child;
      • She is entitled to statutory maternity leave or SMP or Maternity Allowance; and She has brought her maternity leave, SMP or maternity allowance to an end early (curtailed her leave).
      • Update: 5/10/15

        The government announced further changes to shared parental leave on the 5th October 2015 to include grandparents. Read our news article about the changes here

        Grandparents eligible for shared parental leave and Pay in 2018