Shared Parental Leave is for parents of children born after 5 April 2015. It is designed to give parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following birth or adoption. Parents will be able to share a ‘pot’ of leave, 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 child.
To qualify, the mother or adopter must be entitled to some form of maternity or adoption entitlement, have given notice to curtail it and must share the main responsibility for caring for the child with the named partner. 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 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 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 week in 13 of the 66 weeks.
Where both parents satisfy these tests they will both be able to share the leave. However, a family can still use Shared Parental Leave even when only one parent actually meets the eligibility criteria. For example, a self-employed parent will not be entitled to take Shared Parental Leave but they could still pass the employment and earnings test allowing the other parent in the family to qualify.
Shared Parental Leave may be taken at any time within the period which begins on the date the child is born/date of the placement and ends 52 weeks after that date. An employee is entitled to submit three separate notices to book leave. Leave must be taken in complete weeks and may be taken either in a continuous period, which an employer cannot refuse, or in a discontinuous period, which the employer can refuse. If a request for discontinuous leave is refused then the total amount of leave requested in the notice will automatically become a continuous block unless it is withdrawn.
Statutory Shared Parental Pay is paid at £139.58 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). To qualify for Statutory Shared Parental Pay a parent must pass the continuity of employment test and 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. The other parent in the family must meet the employment and earnings test.Tags: Shared Parental Leave
Categorised in: Employment law
This post was written by SKHR