Shared Parental Leave and Pay: employer guide


Sometimes only one parent in a couple will be eligible to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). This means that they cannot share the leave.

If your employee is eligible then they can use SPL to book their leave in separate blocks.

Shared Parental Leave

To qualify for SPL, your employee must share responsibility for the child with one of the following:

  • their husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
  • the child’s other parent
  • their partner (if they live with them)

Your employee or their partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave, adoption pay or leave or Maternity Allowance.

They must also:

  • still be employed by you while they take SPL
  • give you the correct notice including a declaration that their partner meets the employment and income requirements which allow your employee to get SPL
  • have been continuously employed by you for at least 26 weeks up to any day of the ‘qualifying week’, or the week they are matched with a child for adoption in the UK

The ‘qualifying week’ is the 15th week before the baby is due.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay

They can get ShPP if they’re an employee and one of the following applies:

They can also get ShPP if they’re a worker and they’re eligible for SMP or SPP.

Refusing SPL or ShPP

You can refuse SPL or ShPP if the employee does not qualify.

You must tell the employee the reason if you refuse ShPP. You do not have to give a reason for refusing SPL.