Shared Parental Leave Entitlement

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Shared Parental Leave Entitlement

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The new entitlement, which is coming into force on 1st December, will mean that after the first two weeks of a mother's maternity leave for babies born or adopted on or after April 5 2015, working parents have the option of sharing the remaining 50 weeks between them.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) employers’ group described flexible parental leave as a good way of supporting working families.  The plans are also being supported by the Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Business (FSB).

While unions have welcomed the scheme, there are concerns from smaller companies about the financial implication due to the Government’s estimation that the cost to businesses would be approximately £17 million.  The Institute of Directors business group has also described the proposals as a “nightmare” that would “heap yet more burdens on struggling employers”.

Shared Parental Leave Rules

For a parent to be eligible to take Shared Parental Leave they must be an employee and they must pass the continuity of employment test.  In turn, the other parent in the family must meet the employment and earnings test.

  • Continuity of employment of test – the person 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 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
  • Employment and earnings test – the person must have worked for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to the due date and have earned above the maternity allowance threshold of £30 per week in 13 of the 66 weeks

Employees who want to take Shared Parental Leave must give their employer a notice of entitlement to take this leave, which must be given at least eight weeks before the start of a period of Shared Parental Leave and must include the following information:

  • The amount of leave available
  • The amount of leave they are entitled to
  • The amount of leave the parent intends to take
  • How they expect to take it

Statutory Shared Parental pay is paid at £138.18 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).  If the mother or adopter curtails their entitlement to maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance before they have used their full entitlement then Shared Parental pay can be claimed for any remaining weeks.  To qualify for Shared Parental pay a parent must, as well as passing the continuity of employment test also have earned an average salary of the lower earnings limit of £111 for the 8 weeks’ prior to the 15th week before the expected due date or matching date.

If you want more information on Shared Parental Leave, please contact HR experts aible by telephone on 01656 630 010 or email people@aible.co.uk for a free, no obligation initial Human Resources needs assessment.

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