Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Shared Parental Leave is a new right that is designed to give parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following birth or adoption. Eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters will be able to share a pot of leave, and can decide to be off work at the same time and/or taking it in turns to have periods of leave to look after the child.

To qualify for Shared Parental Leave and Pay a mother must be entitled to maternity or adoption leave, or statutory maternity or adoption pay or maternity allowance and must share the main responsibility for caring for the child with the child’s father or her partner. In addition, they will be required to follow a two-step process to establish eligibility.

  • Step 1:  Continuity test: A parent seeking to take Shared Parental Leave must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the week in which the child is due (or at the week in which an adopter was notified of having been matched with a child or adoption) and is still employed in the first week that Shared Parental Leave is to be taken. The other parent has to have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to the due date and have earned above the maternity allowance threshold of £30 a week in 13 of the 66 weeks.
  • Step 2 – Individual eligibility for pay: To qualify for Shared Parental Pay the parent must, as well as passing the continuity test, also have earned an average salary of the lower earnings limit or more for the 8 weeks’ prior to the 15th week before the EWC. It will be for the mother or adopter to continue on maternity leave or opt to take Shared Parental Leave.

Shared Parental Leave may be taken at any time within the period which begins on the date the child is born or date of the placement and ends 52 weeks after that date. Leave must be taken in complete weeks and may be taken either in a continuous period, which an employer cannot refuse or in a discontinuous period, which the employer can refuse.

To notify your Line Manager of your intention to take Shared Parental Leave please complete the Notice of Entitlement and Intentiation to Take Shared Parental Leave form.