2. Eligibility

Each parent qualifies separately for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

If you’re eligible you can start SPL and take leave in separate blocks, instead of taking it all in one go like maternity or adoption leave. You can also share the leave between you if you’re both eligible.

You can check whether you can get leave and pay, including SPL and ShPP.

Shared Parental Leave

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

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

You or your partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave, adoption pay or leave or Maternity Allowance.

You must also:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or by the date you’re matched with your adopted child)
  • stay with the same employer while you take SPL

During the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due (or the week you’re matched with your adopted child) your partner must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they don’t need to be in a row)
  • have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they don’t need to be in a row)

This can be as an employee, worker or self-employed person. Your partner doesn’t have to be working at the date of birth or when you start SPL or ShPP.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay

You can get ShPP if you’re an employee and one of the following applies:

  • you’re eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
  • you’re eligible for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and your partner is eligible for SMP, Maternity Allowance (MA) or SAP

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