Shared Parental Leave
There are a lot of myths and rumours surrounding shared parental leave. If you are having a baby or adopting a child, you may be eligible for shared parental leave (SPL). SPL allows working parents to share statutory parental leave when their child is born/adopted. If you are eligible for SPL, you can choose to take your leave simultaneously, or separate to your partner. You may also take SPL in separate blocks instead of taking it in one block - such as with maternity leave or adoption leave.
Am I eligible for SPL?
Both parents must be qualified separately for SPC and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). To be eligible for SPL, you must share responsibility for the child with either:
Your husband, wife, civil partner, or joint adopter
The child's other parent
Your partner (if they live with you and the child)
You and your partner must be eligible for adoption pay or leave, maternity pay or leave, or maternity allowance.
You must also:
Have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or the date you are matched with your adopted child)
Stay with the same employer while you take SPL
During the 66 weeks before the week the baby is due (or the week you are matched with your adopted child), your partner must:
Have been working for at least 26 weeks
Have earned at least £390 in 13 of the 66 weeks
Your partner does not have to be working at the date of birth or when you start SPL or ShPP.
Am I eligible for ShPP?
You may be eligible for ShPP if you are an employee and one of the following applies:
You are eligible for statutory maternity pay or statutory adoption pay
You are eligible for statutory paternity pay and your partner is eligible for statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance, or statutory adoption pay
What is the difference between maternity/paternity leave, and SPL?
The key difference between maternity/paternity leave, and SPL is that SPL ensures that parents have the flexibility to choose how they share their leave. Parents can take it in turns to take time off, or choose to take time off together.
Mothers on maternity leave may choose to cash out in exchange for SPL later on. Likewise, after two weeks of paid paternity leave, fathers can revert to SPL instead.