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10 Things Small Businesses Should Know About Shared Parental Leave

April 2015 marks the launch of the new arrangements for Shared Parental Leave. But what does it mean for your small  business

  1. What is shared parental leave?

From 5 April 2015, new legislation provides eligible parents with the opportunity to choose to share between them the care of their child during the first year following the child’s birth or adoption.

  1. Why Was The Legislation Created?

The legislation  was created to help working parents balance their  parental responsibility with their work commitments

Who is Eligible?

The person would need to fulfil the same eligibility criteria at that for statutory maternity or adoption leave i.e.

    1. earn on average at least £111 a week
      UK shared parental leave - Our HR Dept

      UK Shared Parental Leave

    2. give the correct notice
    3. give proof they are pregnant / of the child being placed
    4. have worked for their employer continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the ‘qualifying week’ , that is, the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.In addition, the employees partner must:
      • must also be working and meet the economic test – this is an earning threshold – tool available on
      • be the Child’s father or;
      • the Husband/Civil Partner or,
      • Partner living in an enduring family relationship (significant other)

Who is not eligible?

  • Grandparent
  • Siblings/ Aunts/Uncles
  • Nephew/ Niece

Does this change regular maternity and paternity leave?
Not greatly. Fathers will still be entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave. The new rules replace “additional paternity leave”.

Mums can take maternity leave under existing rules.

Mothers must still take the initial two weeks after birth, but they can then cut their maternity leave short and exchange it for shared parental leave.

Both parents will then have a flexible choice of how to split up the rest of the leave entitlement – of up to 50 weeks.

For example, if a mother ends her maternity leave after the 12 weeks following the child’s birth, that leaves 40 weeks of leave. She chooses to take 30 weeks and so her partner can take the other 10 weeks. Alternatively, the couple may choose to take 20 weeks of leave at the same time or at different times.

BBC News  By Kevin Peachey


5.  How Does Shared Parental Leave Affect Maternity Leave?


Shared Parental Leave Legislation

Shared Parental Leave Legislation

The birth mother is required to take at least 2 weeks off for maternity leave,  or 4 if working in a manufacturing environment.

This time off is a statutory requirement by law. Some companies also seek medical confirmation of a mother’s fitness to return to work if returning after this short period of time




6.    How Does The Employee Apply?


  • Employee must give 8 weeks notice – this is called eligibility notice
  • The employee sets out the number of weeks to be shared with partner
  • The employee sets out the number of weeks they intend to take as maternity leave
  • The employee must  complete a declaration including their partner’s name and NI number. The partner will also need to meet the earnings test

7    How is leave booked?

Leave can be taken in up to 3 blocks over the 50 or, 52 weeks in case of adoption leave week period.


8. When Must The Leave Be Taken?

Employees cannot apply for both maternity and shared parental leave. In order to start Shared parental leave, they must first end their maternity or adoption leave.

For example, if a mother, is on maternity leave, but has decided to share the remainder of her leave with her partner. She will need to let her employer know that she no longer wishes to be on maternity leave. Once this has been confirmed, the employee or their partner can then apply for and if agreed, start shared parental leave.

The right to shared parental leave only applies within the first year of the child’s birth or within the first year of the child being placed. It the leave is not requested or taken, the parent forfeits the right to this entitlement


9. How Much Is Statutory Shared Parental Leave?

The statuary payment for shared parental leave is  £111 per week


10.  Can leave be varied?


Leave may be varied, depending on appropriate notice being given to the employer

Would you like to know more about Shared Parental leave? why not sign up to our FREE webinar


Would you like to know more about Shared Parental leave? why not sign up to our FREE webinar

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