Shared parental leave comes into effect
The new system of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) allowing mothers and fathers to share 52 weeks’ leave came into effect on 5 April 2015.
Under the SPL scheme, mothers are still required to take two weeks’ compulsory leave immediately after the birth, but the other 50 weeks can be shared between both parents. The benefits are also available to couples who adopt a child.
Parents can choose whether to take their leave simultaneously or take turns, or a mixture of the two. The leave must be taken in complete weeks.
Parents can take their leave in a continuous period but would have to negotiate with their employer if they wish to take leave in discontinuous periods. The employer doesn’t have to agree to a discontinuous leave period.
To qualify for SPL, a parent must have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC). They must also give sufficient notice to their employer.
To qualify for Statutory Shared Parental Pay a parent must meet the same average earnings threshold as they would for Statutory Maternity Pay.
The other parent must have worked for 26 of the 66 weeks prior to EWC and earned a minimum of £30 in at least 13 of those weeks.
Parents will be able to take their leave 11 weeks before the EWC.
An estimated 285,000 couples a year are expected to benefit from the new system.
Please contact John Carter for more information about Shared Parental Leave or any aspect of employment law.