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Shared Parental Leave Regulations - Is Your Business Ready?

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Last week the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 came into force. This will enable employees who have babies due on or after 5 April 2015 to share up to one year’s leave with their partner.

The Regulations will allow Mothers, or the primary carers in the case of adoption, to “curtail”, or shorten, their Maternity/Adoption Leave, and pass on the remaining Shared Parental Leave with their partner.

Couples can take Shared Parental Leave at the same time to spend the time as a family, or the Mother/primary carer can return to work before the year’s leave has finished and the other parent can take the remaining leave, or parents can take leave in blocks. For example a husband and wife could take alternating three months leave until the full twelve months is used up.

An employee must give his or her employer at least eight weeks notice to take a period of Shared Parental Leave.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay will be payable to eligible employees for up to 39 weeks, minus the number of weeks of the Statutory Maternity/Adoption Pay period taken or to be taken. For example, if a Mother receives 24 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay then the partner will be eligible to receive the remaining 15 weeks as Statutory Shared Parental Pay.

Additional Paternity Leave and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay will be abolished (after a transitional period) once Shared Parental Leave has been introduced in April 2015.

This is going to have a big impact on businesses of all sizes, from updating policies and procedures, to organisation and successful integration of the new regulations.