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Shared Parental Leave


Shared Parental Leave enables eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share time off work after their child is born, or placed with them for adoption.  This could involve returning to work for part of the time and then resume leave at a later date.

Shared Parental Leave 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.

  • Qualifying mothers and adopters continue to be entitled to Maternity and Adoption rights, but they may also be able to choose to end this early and exchange it for Shared Parental Leave and Pay.  They and their named partner will then need to decide how they want to share this entitlement.
  • Two weeks of paid Paternity Leave remains available to qualifying employees.

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.

The rules relating to Shared Parental Leave can seem overwhelming – that’s where a member of the HRx  team can assist and unravel this seeming minefield of legislation for you.