Date Published: August 28th, 2019

How Shared Parental Leave & Pay works?

In case you are having a baby or adopting a child, you & your partner may be eligible for shared parental leave (SPL) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP). After the birth of your child, you need to share the pay & leave in the first year. You are eligible to share up to 50 weeks of leave & up to 37 weeks of pay with each other.

You can take shared parental leaves within different work intervals or all in one go. You may also go with the option of going off from work together or stagger the leave and pay so that one always remain at home with the baby in the first year.

In order to get SPL & ShPP, you and your partner need to –

  • Meet the eligibility criteria – There is a difference between eligibility criteria for birth parents & adoptive parents.
  • Send notice to your employers.

Shared Parental Leave & Pay Eligibility for birth parents 

In order to get eligible for shared parental leave & statutory shared pay (ShPP), both of the parents have to mandatorily –

  • Share the responsibility of the child at birth
  • Meet the work & pay criteria. Both are different and it depends upon parents which criteria they want to use for shared parental leave & pay.

If you started sharing the responsibility of the child after its birth, you are not eligible for shared parental leave (SPL) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP).

The eligibility criteria of adoptive parents are different.

If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

You and your partner must –

  • Be working with the same employer at the time of availing SPL.
  • Have been employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of 15th week before the due date.
  • Be an employee (Not a worker)
  • Earn at least £118 on average a week individually.

Note – In case one of you is a “worker”, you can share ShPP but not SPL. In case one of you earns less than £118 a week, you can share SPL but not ShPP.

If the mother’s partner wants to take the SPL & ShPP –

The mother of the child must –

  • Have been working for at least 26 weeks (not necessary to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the baby is due.
  • Have earned at least £390 in any 13 out of 66 weeks.

The mother’s partner must –

  • Be working with the same employer at the time of availing SPL.
  • Have been employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of 15th week before the due date.
  • Be an employee (Not a worker)
  • Earn at least £118 on average a week.

In case mother’s partner is a “worker”, they can get ShPP but not SPL. In case mother’s partner earns less than £118 a week, they can get SPL but not ShPP.

 If the mother wants to take the SPL & ShPP

The mother’s partner must –

  • Have been working for at least 26 weeks (not necessary to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the baby is due.
  • Have earned at least £390 in any 13 out of 66 weeks (add the highest paying weeks, not necessary to be in a row)

The mother of the child must –

  • Be working with the same employer at the time of availing SPL.
  • Have been employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of 15th week before the due date.
  • Be an employee (Not a worker)
  • Earn at least £118 on average a week.

In case mother is a worker, she can get ShPP not SPL. In case mother earns less than £118 a week, she can get SPL but not ShPP.

Shared Parental Leave & Pay Eligibility for Adopters

In order to get eligible for shared parental leave & statutory shared pay (ShPP), both adoptive parents have to mandatorily –

  • Share the responsibility of the child.
  • Meet the work & pay criteria. Both are different and it depends upon adoptive parents which criteria they want to use for shared parental leave & pay.

The eligibility criteria of birth parents are different.

 If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

You and your partner must –

  • Be working with the same employer at the time of availing SPL.
  • Have been employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week you were matched with the child.
  • Be an employee (Not a worker)
  • Earn individually at least £118 on average a week.

In case one of you is a “worker”, you can share ShPP but not SPL. In case one of you earns less than £118 a week, you can share SPL but not ShPP.

If only one of the parents wants to take the SPL & ShPP

The parents who want to take the leave & pay have to mandatorily –

  • Be working with the same employer at the time of availing SPL.
  • Have been employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week you were matched with the child.
  • Be an employee (Not a worker)
  • Earn individually at least £118 on average a week.

The other parents must –

  • Have been working for at least 26 weeks (not necessary to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the child is placed with you.
  • Have earned at least £390 in any 13 out of 66 weeks (add the highest paying weeks, not necessary to be in a row)

In case a parent who wants to take the leave and pay is a “worker”, he or she can get ShPP but not SPL. In case a parent earns less than £118 a week, he or she can get SPL but not ShPP.

When you can start Shared Parental Leave (SPL) or Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)?

You can start availing shared parental leave or shared parental pay after the birth of the child or once the child is placed for adoption.

For Shared parental leave (SPL) to Start

The mother or the person getting adoption leave must either –

  • Return to work which leads to the end of maternity or adoption leave
  • Give binding notice to the employer to indicate the date when you are planning to end your leave. (the date provided in the binding notice cannot be changed)

You can start with SPL at the time when your partner is still on maternity or adoption leave as long as they have given a binding notice indicating the date to end it. You can give binding notice to the employer at the same time. Binding notice is a notice given to employer to indicate the date when you are planning to avail SPL.

If the mother or adopter does not get maternity or adoption leave 

The mother or adopter has to mandatorily end any maternity pay, adoption pay or maternity allowance so that they or their partner can avail SPL.

For Statuary Shared Parental pay (ShPP) to Start

The mother (or the person getting adoption pay) has to mandatorily give binding notice to the employer to indicate the date when he or she is planning to end the maternity or adoption pay.

In case he or she get maternity allowance, you need to give notice to job center plus instead.

You cannot restart your maternity pay, adoption pay or maternity allowance once it is ended.

You can start with ShPP at the time when your partner is still on maternity pay, adoption pay or maternity allowance as long as he or she has given binding notice to the employer to end it. At the same time, you can give binding notice to tell when you are planning for ShPP.

Compulsory Leave

A mother cannot return to work before availing the compulsory maternity leave of 2 weeks following the birth of the child. (4 weeks for a factory working woman)

In case you are adopting a child, you must take adoption leave of at least 2 weeks in order to claim adoption pay.

Cancelling the decision to end maternity or adoption leave

A mother or adopter can change his or her decision to end the maternity or adoption leave earlier if both –

  • Have not already returned to work.
  • The planned end date has not passed.

From the below mentioned points, one must apply –

  • The mother or adopter’s partner has died.
  • In the 8 week notice period, you find out that neither of you is eligible for SPL or ShPP.

The mother gave notice to the employer before the birth of the child but tells her employer less than 6 weeks after the birth.

What you’ll get

In case you are eligible but you or your partner end maternity leave or adoption leave or maternity allowance earlier, then you can do the following –

  • Take the remaining 52 weeks of maternity or adoption leave as shared parental leave (SPL).
  • Take the remaining 39 weeks of maternity or adoption pay (or maternity allowance) as statutory shared parental pay.

How much pay you’ll get

ShPP is calculated and paid at the rate of £148.68 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). It is same as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) except SMP is paid at 90% of whatever you earn during the first 6 weeks (No maximum)

For ex – A woman taken a 14 weeks maternity leave divided into the following –

  • 4 weeks maternity leave before the due date
  • Notice given to the employer that she will start SPL from 10 weeks after the birth of the child.

She earns £200 a week. After calculation, it is ascertained that she will be paid SMP of £180 (90% of her weekly average earnings) for the first 6 weeks of maternity leave &£148.68 per week for the next 8 weeks. If she avails SPL, she will be paid £148.68 a week.

Applying for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) or Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

In order to get shared parental leave or shared parental pay, you have to mandatorily –

  • Follow the rules of starting SPL &ShPP
  • Give your employer a written notice of at least 8 weeks about your leave dates.

You can also change your mind later about how much SPL or ShPP you are planning to take but you need to provide a notice of change at least 8 weeks before the starting date of the leave.

You need to provide the required information to the employer in order to get SPL or ShPP. Your employer can ask you for more information within the time period of 14 days after applying for SPL or ShPP.

  • Birth certificate copy
  • Name & address of partner’s employer or a declaration in case your partner’s having no employer.
  • A declaration of birth date & place (in case birth is not registered)

In case you are adopting a child, an employer can ask you about the following details –

  • Name & address of adoption agency.
  • Date you were matched with the child.
  • Date on which you started living with the child.
  • Name & address of partner’s employer or a declaration in case your partner is having no employer.

Booking blocks of Leave

You can book shared parental leave up to 3 separate intervals instead of taking it all in one go, even if you are not sharing the leave with your partner.

In case your partner is also eligible for SPL. You can book up to 3 blocks of leave each as you can avail it in intervals or both at the same time.

You must inform your employer about your leave plans when you apply for SPL. In case there is a change in your plan before, you must give your employer an 8 week notice before starting the booking for the block of leave.

Shared parental leave in touch (split) days

You and your partner can work up to 20 days individually at the time when you are taking SPL. It is known as “Shared parental leave in touch” (or SPLIT) days. These days are addition to the 10 “Keeping in touch” (KIT) days only available to those who are on maternity or adoption leave. Availing KIT & SPLIT days are optional. In order to avail it, you and your employer must agree to them.

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