New Shared Parental Leave (SPL) Legislation

Expecting parents holding handsThe new Shared Parental Leave (SPL) right allows parents to share the time allocated to them when their child is born or adopted. Its offers flexibility in how and when you both take leave. Instead of using all of your leave in one go you can now separate the leave into blocks. For example parents can be off work at the same time and/or take it in turns to have periods of leave to look after the child.

Key points
  • Qualifying mothers and adopters continue to be entitled to Maternity and Adoption rights but they may also be able to choose to end this early and exchange it for Shared Parental Leave and Pay. They and their named partner will then need to decide how they want to share this new entitlement
  • Two weeks of paid Paternity Leave continues to be available to qualifying fathers and the partner of a mother or adopter. However, Shared Parental Leave has replaced the Additional Paternity Leave entitlement
  • These regulations came into force on 1 December 2014 and apply to eligible parents where a baby is due, or a child is placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015

SPL comes into effect if you are expecting a baby, or adopting, on or after the 5th April 2015. The right applies to mothers and fathers, married couples, civil partners and cohabiting partners, same or opposite sex.

Each parent qualifies separately for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

If you’re eligible you can start SPL and take leave in separate blocks, instead of taking it all in one go like maternity or adoption leave. You can also share the leave between you if you’re both eligible.

You can check whether you can get leave and pay, including SPL and ShPP.

For further details click here.

How much and when?

Parents can take up to a maximum of 50 weeks as SPL, and a maximum of 37 weeks of Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). You can take SPL at a different time to your partner/other parent, or at the same time. For example, a woman can be on maternity leave and her partner can be on shared parental leave at the same time

What is happening to maternity leave?

Maternity leave remains the same as before. An employed woman still has the right to take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, and it is up to her whether she wishes to swap that for SPL taken by her, and/or a partner, if she wishes. She must take at least 2 weeks’ maternity leave after the birth.

For further details click:

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