Statutory Shared Parental Pay and Leave (ShPP/SPL) - general information: shared parental leave notice
An employee who wishes to opt in to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) must first give their employer notice of their intention and entitlement to take SPL. The notice must be in writing and must be accompanied by a declaration signed by both the employee and their partner.
After giving this notice the employee may then submit a further notice to the employer to book a period of leave. It is expected that in many cases an employee will submit the notice to book leave at the same time as the notice confirming entitlement. In any case the notice must be given at least 8 weeks before leave can be taken.
An employee who wishes to receive ShPP must also give their employer notice of entitlement and intent, along with signed declarations and specified evidence. There is no requirement to then give further notice to book weeks of ShPP as any weeks of ShPP will be covered by the notice to book SPL.
Mother or Adopter’s Notification of Entitlement and Intention
A mother or adopter wishing to take SPL must give her employer a written notice containing the following information
- The mother or adopter’s name.
- The name of their partner.
- The start and end dates of any period of Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) or Statutory Adoption Leave (SAL) taken or to be taken by the mother or adopter.
- The total amount of SPL available to be shared between the mother or adopter and their partner.
- For mothers, the expected and actual date of birth of the child. If the notice is given before the child is born the date of birth must be given to the employer as soon as reasonably practicable and, in any event, before the mother’s first period of SPL.
- For adopters, the date the adopter was notified of having been matched with the child, the date the child is expected to be placed for adoption and the date of the placement. If the notice is given before the date of placement the adopter must give the employer the date of placement as soon as reasonably practicable and, in any event, before the adopter’s first period of SPL.
- How much SPL the mother or adopter and their partner each intend to take.
- An indication of when the mother or adopter intends to take SPL, including the start and end dates for each period of leave. This indication is non-binding and must not be treated as a period of leave unless otherwise indicated in the notice.
This notice must be accompanied by 2 written declarations.
The first declaration is a declaration signed by the mother or adopter stating that
- They satisfy, or will satisfy, the conditions for entitlement to SPL
- The information they have given in the notice is accurate.
- They will immediately inform their employer if they cease to care for the child.
The second declaration is a declaration signed by the mother or adopter’s partner specifying the partner’s name, address and National Insurance number (or a declaration that they do not have a National Insurance number) and stating that
- They satisfy, or will satisfy, the qualifying conditions, for SPL
- They are the father of the child, or they are married to or the partner of the mother or adopter.
- They consent to the amount of SPL which the mother or adopter intends to take.
- They consent to the mother or adopter’s employer processing the information in the declaration.
Partner of Mother or Adopter’s Notification of Entitlement and Intention
The notice which the partner of a mother or adopter must give to their employer, and the declarations that must accompany that notice, essentially mirrors the notification given by the mother or adopter.
A key potential difference arises from the fact that a partner may still receive SPL even if the mother or adopter has no SPL entitlement. This is because a mother or adopter who receives SMP, SAP or MA may cut short their entitlement and allow their partner to take any unused weeks as SPL.
Where this is the case, rather than having to provide the start and end dates of SML and SPL taken or to be taken by the mother or adopter, the partner will have to provide details of either
- The start and end dates of any period for which SMP or SAP has been received or will be received by the mother or adopter
- The start and end dates of any period for which MA has been received or will be received by the mother.
Supplementary Evidence Requirements
Where either employee has given notice to their employer, the employer may request within 14 days of the notice being given, the following evidence or information (as appropriate)
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate.
- The name and address of the adoption agency.
- The date the adopter was notified of having been matched for adoption with the child.
- The date on which the adoption agency expects to place the child.
- The name and address of the employee’s partner’s employer.
The employee must provide the required information within 14 days of the request being made.