1. Overview

You may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child.

If you’re eligible for SPL you can use it to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, instead of taking it all in one go.

To start SPL or ShPP the mother must end her maternity leave (for SPL) or her Maternity Allowance or maternity pay (for ShPP). If she doesn’t get maternity leave (but she ends her Maternity Allowance or pay early) her partner might still get SPL.

If you’re adopting then you or your partner must end any adoption leave or adoption pay early instead.

If you’re eligible you can take:

  • the remaining leave as SPL (52 weeks minus any weeks of maternity or adoption leave)
  • the remaining pay as ShPP (39 weeks minus any weeks of maternity pay, maternity allowance or adoption pay)

If neither of you is entitled to maternity leave or adoption leave then SPL will be 52 weeks minus any weeks of maternity pay, Maternity Allowance or adoption pay.

You can share SPL and ShPP between you if you’re both eligible.

Example A mother and her partner are both eligible for SPL and ShPP. The mother ends her maternity leave and pay after 12 weeks, leaving 40 weeks available for SPL and 27 weeks available for ShPP. The parents can choose how to split this.

SPL and ShPP must be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday (or within one year of adoption).