May 13, 2015

Shared Parental Leave, an overview

Shared Parental Leave, an overview

 

In April 2015 the government introduced a completely new piece of employment legislation in relation to how mum and dad can share the caring responsibilities of their new baby for the first year of its life.

 

We have covered in brief the recent employment law legislation changes in a previous news article, but here we are going to go into a little more depth about this quite complex new policy called Shared Parental Leave (SPL).

 

In summary:

 

Your employee may qualify for SPL if amongst other qualifying conditions, they:

 

1. Have 26 weeks continuous service at the 15th week before mum is due to give birth (expected week of confinement (EWC)

2. The other parent must have worked for 26 weeks out of the 66 weeks before the EWC and have had average weekly earnings of at least £30 during 13 of those weeks

 

Your employee, if eligible may be entitled to:

 

1. 52 weeks’ Shared Parental Leave (SPL) less the time spent by mum on maternity leave

2. 39 weeks’ Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

 

The practicalities are that your employee must opt into SPL and ShPP stating their intent in writing (of which they must provide specific information) and evidence must be provided of entitlement such as a birth certificate. Additionally your employee will have to provide the name and address of the other parent’s employer.

 

Employees must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of their intention to start SPL, and also 8 weeks’ notice to end Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) to start SPL – this is known as a curtailment notice. An employee can cancel their SPL by giving 8 weeks’ notice in writing.

 

During the course of SPL your employee is entitled to what is known as KIT Days – these are Keeping in Touch days and they are able to take up to 20 days which are in addition to the 10 KIT Days available during Maternity Leave. KIT days are paid at the employee’s normal rate, and are subject to tax and national insurance. Payment for KIT Days does not affect your employee’s eligibility for ShPP.

 

If mum does want to opt out of Maternity Leave, she still has to take the compulsory element of her leave, which is 2 weeks or 4 weeks if working in a factory, and dad is advised to still take his 2 week Paternity Leave otherwise he may lose the entitlement once he starts SPL.

 

The above is an overview of the regulations, however if you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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