Shared Parental Pay and Leave
Any of our readers or their partners anticipating the arrival of a baby on or after 5 April 2015? New legislation has come into force that allows working parents far greater choice in how they share the care of their child and take time off work during the first year of their child’s life. The rules apply equally for children that have been adopted. Under the new rules mothers will still take at least two weeks of maternity leave immediately after birth, but after that working couples can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay. This ability to share parental leave and pay will not apply in Northern Ireland until the Northern Ireland Assembly passes the relevant regulations.
The new entitlement is called Shared Parental Pay and Leave (SPL) and will replace Additional Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave.
Parents will be able to take their leave simultaneously so that they can spend time at home together with their child or they could opt to take it in phases, for example 20 weeks for the mother/adopter, followed by 20 weeks for the father/partner, followed by 10 weeks for the mother/adopter. So it may be the case that statutory parental pay is paid over one or two discontinuous periods.
The parents have to give 8-weeks’ notice to their employers of their plans to take SPL. The leave can be taken at any time within the child’s first year (or first year after adoption). The leave and pay must be taken in blocks of full weeks, but can start on any day of the week. If the baby is born early parents will still be eligible for SPL once the due date was on or after 5 April 2015.