Shared Parental Leave – The Basics

In April 2015, the UK caught up with our Nordic neighbours by introducing Shared Parental Leave (SPL) – a step that would give fathers more time to bond with their babies whilst easing the pressure on mothers. But for time-poor employers, SPL is just one more paperwork-laden policy to eat up the day.

So, we thought we’d cherry-pick ten SPL facts so that you can get to grips with the basics, without wasting precious time…

In a nutshell, SPL is a new right for parents to share up to 50 weeks statutory leave and pay on the birth or adoption of a child.

It replaces ‘additional paternity leave’ and allows parents to take leave at different times during their child’s first year, or even double up by taking leave at the same time.

However, because parents can only share 50 weeks, if they decide to take leave at the same time they can only be off for 25 weeks.

Parents can also split the rest of the 39 weeks of statutory pay (up to a maximum of 37 weeks) as Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

Remember that SPL doesn’t replace Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Leave – parents can still take these.

Unlike maternity/adoption leave, parents can stop and start their SPL and return to work between periods of leave, within reason.

Parents must give you eight weeks notice before they intend to take leave.

To qualify for SPL, parents must have worked for the business for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or matched date for adoptions).

Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) is currently paid at a rate of £139.58 a week, or 90% of your employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

To make life a little harder, SPL is different for each employee, and therefore needs to be assessed on an individual basis.

To say we’ve cut out the jargon is an understatement; SPL could win gold for its complexity. So, to make sure you’re getting it right, give us a call and we’ll guide you through it painlessly.

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