With more and more ‘hands on’ fathers across the country, the introduction of Shared Parental Leave and Shared Parental Pay has been seen as a welcome addition. However, many employers are still coming to terms with the complexities of the process.
Here is a brief overview of what it may mean for you:
When does it apply from? For couples whose baby was due on or after 5 April 2015, or adopters of children placed for adoption on or after the same date, it gives much greater flexibility.
How does it work? Birth Shared Parental Leave can take affect after the mother has taken at least two weeks maternity leave and pay, meaning that up to the remaining 50 weeks leave and up to 37 weeks’ pay can be split between the parents. The flexibility is in that the leave must be taken in weekly blocks and must all be taken by the child’s 1st birthday. It can be stopped and started, and you can take up to three separate blocks each. Employees are still required to give their employers a notice period of at least 8 weeks, although there are special rules for an early birth.
Who is eligible? As with maternity and paternity pay, there are several conditions that must be met in order to qualify. For instance, the mother must qualify for maternity pay or maternity allowance. The other parent must have the joint main responsibility of caring for the child, have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks at the ‘qualifying week’, and earned enough over a given period.
How does it work for adopters? The same principles and conditions apply as above, although rather than the mother, the adopter must take the first 2 weeks before the remaining allowance of the adoption statutory pay and leave can be split between the two partners.
Where can I go for more information? There is a wealth of information on the subject on the GOV.UK website which can be found here – or contact us at Green & Co.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.
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