Shared Parental Leave and Pay: Arriving next year

The Government is reforming the statutory pay and leave entitlements

available to employed parents. From next year, a new entitlement to Shared

Parental Leave and Pay (SPL) will be introduced. This will give parents more

flexibility in the way they share leave and pay between them. Where relevant,

employers will need to update their payroll systems to accommodate making

statutory parental payments to employees taking SPL. And to enable these

payments to be paid discontinuously, if necessary.

The current entitlement to statutory maternity/adoption leave is 52 weeks (39

paid) and two week’s statutory paternity leave and pay. This all unchanged.

What is new is that working parents of a baby due on or after 5 April 2015 may

be eligible to take SPL.

Under SPL, mothers (or adopters) will be able to choose to end their

maternity/adoption leave and pay early – at any point from two weeks after the

birth/placement – and share their untaken pay and leave with their partner.

The idea is to give families greater choice over their childcare arrangements in

the first year. It no longer has to be a year for mum and two weeks for dad. It’s

intended to enable fathers to take a greater role in caring for a child, and to

help both parents to better balance childcare responsibilities with staying in


Parents will be able to take their leave 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 statutory parental pay could be paid over

one or two discontinuous periods.

We expect employers to start getting notifications of intention to take SPL from

February 2015. We will provide online tools to check eligibility.

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