Guidance

Shared Parental Leave and Pay - guidance and tools for parents

Tools and guidance for parents thinking of taking Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

Introduction

The Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) schemes enable eligible parents to share responsibility for caring for their child in the first year. It is available to couples where one of the parents qualifies for Maternity Leave (ML) and/or Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA) or, in the case of adopters and individuals who are having a baby with the help of a surrogate mother, Adoption Leave (AL) and/or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP).

Essentially the parent who qualifies for maternity or adoption entitlements is able to turn any leave and pay/allowance which they do not intend to use into SPL and/or ShPP which the parents can share (subject to meeting eligibility requirements). Up to 50 weeks of SPL and up to 37 weeks of ShPP are potentially available and eligible parents can also take this leave and pay in a more flexible way: each parent can take up to 3 blocks of SPL and/or ShPP and can return to work between periods of leave and pay if they wish.

On this page you will find tools and guidance which have been designed to help parents check if they are eligible for SPL and/or ShPP (the Eligibility Checklist); plan their SPL and ShPP (the Shared Parental Leave and Pay Planner; give the correct information to their employer (the model Notices and Declarations to Employer). There is also a brief overview of how the scheme works (the Factsheet) and more detailed guidance (Parents’ Guide) which is intended to be used as a reference source in the event of the parent finding themselves in a less common situation, for example if they change their mind about taking SPL and/or ShPP after giving notice to their employer; need to check their employment rights; or have more than one job.

Factsheet

The Shared Parental Leave and Pay Factsheet provides an overview of the Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) schemes.

Factsheet

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Parents’ Guide

The Parents’ Guide to Shared Parental Leave and Pay contains more detailed information for parents who are considering taking Shared Parental Leave and Pay including answers to specific questions that some parents have on the scheme including for example on their employment rights whilst on SPL.

Parents' guide

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Eligibility Checklists

Parents can use the Eligibility Checklists to check if one or both of them are eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and/or Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). There is a checklist for mothers to use and a checklist for fathers and partners to use. Parents should check they are eligible for SPL and/or ShPP before giving Notice of Entitlement to their employer, for example on the model Notices and Declarations to Employer, and ‘booking’ SPL and/or ShPP as both parents are required to make declarations to the employer of the parent who is planning to take SPL and ShPP (if both parents are eligible and plan to take SPL and/or ShPP the parents will need to make a declaration to each of their respective employers). Parents can use the Shared Parental Leave and Pay Quick Date Checker to check whether they meet some of the eligibility conditions for SPL and/or ShPP, for example the Continuity of Employment Test.

Eligibility checklists (birth parents)

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Eligibility checklists (adoptive parents)

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Quick date checker (birth parents)

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Quick date checker (adoptive parents)

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Planner

Parents can use the Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) Planner to help them decide how they will share the SPL and ShPP that is available between them (subject to them both being eligible for SPL and/or ShPP). Individual parents can also use the planner to work out when they will be off work and whether the time off will be paid or unpaid SPL before giving the required notice to their employer(s) and ‘booking’ periods of SPL and ShPP.

Planner (birth parents)

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Planner (adoptive parents)

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Model Notices and Declarations to Employer

Having checked that they are eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and/or Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), parents can use the model Notices and Declarations to Employer to:

  • tell their employer that they eligible for SPL and/or ShPP
  • tell their employer how they plan to split (for example - share) SPL and/or ShPP between them
  • give all of the required information and make the required declarations to their employer
  • book periods of SPL

Mothers and individuals who are eligible for Adoption Leave and/or Pay can also use the model Notices and Declarations to Employer to end their maternity or adoption entitlements early to ‘create’ SPL and/or ShPP for them and/or the other parent to take.

Model notices and declarations to employer (birth parents)

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Model notices and declarations to employer (adoptive parents)

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Published 6 February 2018
Last updated 12 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Guidance for adoptive parents added.
  2. First published.