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Shared Parental Leave was created to give more flexibility to parents during the first year following birth or adoption. Though new parents can still take individual maternity and paternity leave, SLP affords more choice for childcare arrangements.

How does Shared Parental Leave work?

Employed new mums can take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, and 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay. With SPL, they have the option of transferring leave and pay to their partner, which he or she can take as SPL.

Who is eligible for Shared Parental Leave?

The easy version is that if you’re eligible for maternity leave and pay, then you’re probably able to get shared leave and pay. The other main factor is that you have someone with whom to share the leave. There are restrictions on who this can be, such as a husband, wife, civil partner, the other parent, or a cohabiting partner.

Read the HMRC guide to SPL eligibility>

How much leave and pay can be transferred to a partner for Shared Parental Leave?

How much leave is available depends how much maternity leave has (or will be) taken. You’ll start off with 52 weeks of maternity leave.

2 of those weeks are mandatory after giving birth or adopting. If you’ve just given birth and your paid job involves factory work, then that rises to 4 weeks compulsory leave.

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The remaining 50 (or 48) weeks of leave can then be shared between you and your partner, as long as you’re both eligible.

The same process applies to the 39 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay that can be shared as Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). Basically, whatever you don’t take, can be shared with your partner.

Are there time limits on taking Shared Parental Leave?

SPL can only be taken after the compulsory leave period has ended, and then up until 52 weeks from birth or placement.

The system is intended to be flexible, so parents don’t have to use SPL all in one go. During that first year, Shared Parental Leave can be taken in blocks, returning to work in between each block.

If your business needs payroll support, including Shared Parental Leave, we can help!  

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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