What is shared parenting leave?
Shared Parenting Leave is designed to give us parents more flexibility in how we share the care of our children in the first year of their lives.
Parents will be able to share leave between themselves, and can decide to be off work at the same time and/or take it in turns to have periods of leave to look after the baby.
You can book up to 3 separate blocks of Shared Parental Leave instead of taking it all in one go, even if you aren’t sharing the leave with your partner. If your partner is also eligible for shared parenting leave, you can take up to 3 blocks of leave each.
Who is eligible?
Each parent qualifies separately for Shared Parental Leave.
To qualify for SPL, you must share responsibility for the child with one of the following:
- your husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
- the child’s other parent
- your partner (if they live with you and the child)
You or your partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave, adoption pay or leave or Maternity Allowance.
You must also:
- have been employed continuously by your employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date.
- stay with the same employer while you take SPL
- have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they don’t need to be in a row)
Shared Parenting Pay
The same qualifying requirements apply as those of Statutory Maternity/Paternity Pay. This means if you qualify for Maternity or Paternity Pay then you will also be eligible for Shared Parental Pay.
How much will you get?
Shared Parenting Pay is paid at the rate of £139.58 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
You must tell your employer about your plans for leave when you apply for shared parental leave. This doesn’t have to be set in stone and can rearrange leave later but you must give your employer at least 8 weeks notice.
You can speak to your employer about splitting blocks into shorter periods of at least a week if you like, but that’s only if they agree.
I hope this has helped some of you.