HR Advice Hull, Employment Law Advice Hull, HR Consultancy Hull,
The new regulations give parents the right to take SPL and place a duty on employers to ensure that their employees are not penalised for using their entitlement or put under pressure to cancel/change a leave notification.
The amount of leave available is calculated using the mother’s entitlement to maternity/adoption leave, which allows them to take up to 52 weeks’ leave. If they reduce their maternity/adoption leave entitlement then they and/or their partner may opt-in to the SPL system and take any remaining weeks as SPL. This means their partner could begin to take SPL while the mother is still on maternity/adoption leave.
Parents will remain entitled to take maternity, paternity and adoption leave. However, an eligible mother or adopter may now choose to cut their maternity/adoption leave early and opt in to SPL.
A birth mother must take at least two weeks maternity leave after the birth of a child (four weeks for manual work in a factory environment) but can otherwise choose to end her maternity leave at any stage. An adopter can end their adoption leave once they have taken it for
To qualify for SPL a mother must:
A parent intending to take SPL must:
In addition, a parent wanting to take SPL is required to satisfy the ‘continuity of employment test’ and their partner must meet the ‘employment and earnings test’.
Continuity of employment test
Employment and earnings test
|The individual has worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the child’s expected due date/matching date and is still working for the employer at the start of each leave period.||In the 66 weeks leading up to the baby’s expected due date/ matching date, the person has worked for at least 26 weeks and earned an average of at least £30 (as of 2015) a week in any13 weeks.|
A mother, subject to certain criteria, will be entitled to statutory maternity pay/ adoption pay/Maternity Allowance for up to 39 weeks. If the mother gives notice to cut their entitlement before they will have received it for 39 weeks then any remaining weeks could become available as ShPP.
Statutory Shared parental pay is paid at £138.18 or 90% of the employees average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).
If both parents qualify for ShPP they must decide who will receive it, or how it will be divided, and they must each tell their employer of their entitlement.
At this stage your employees are covered by the existing rules relating to Additional Paternity Leave, but by April 2015 it will be advisable to have a separate policy relating to Shared Paternity Leave, to show how this additional entitlement will run alongside your existing maternity, adoption and paternity leave.