Eligibility for birth parents

To be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), both parents must:

  • share responsibility for the child at birth
  • meet work and pay criteria - these are different depending on which parent wants to use the shared parental leave and pay

You’re not eligible if you started sharing responsibility for the child after it was born.

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

The eligibility criteria are different if you’re adoptive parents.

If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

You and your partner must:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
  • stay with the same employer while you take SPL
  • be ‘employees’ (not ‘workers’)
  • each earn on average at least £118 a week

If either of you is a ‘worker’, you can share ShPP but not SPL. If either of you earns less than £118 a week, you can share SPL but not ShPP.

If the mother’s partner wants to take the SPL and ShPP

The mother must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they do not need to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due
  • have earned at least £390 in total across any 13 of the 66 weeks

The mother’s partner must:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
  • stay with the same employer while they take SPL
  • be an ‘employee’ (not a ‘worker’)
  • earn on average at least £118 a week

If the mother’s partner is a ‘worker’, they can get ShPP but not SPL. If the mother’s partner earns less than £118 a week, they can get SPL but not ShPP.

If the mother wants to take the SPL and ShPP

The mother’s partner must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they do not need to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due
  • have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they do not need to be in a row)

The mother must:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
  • stay with the same employer while they take SPL
  • be an ‘employee’ (not a ‘worker’)
  • earn on average at least £118 a week

If the mother is a ‘worker’, she can get ShPP but not SPL. If the mother earns less than £118 a week, she can get SPL but not ShPP.