5 Apr, 2015

Shared parental leave law comes into effect

BBC News | Business | April 5 2015

New rights to allow parents to share leave following the birth or adoption of their child have come into effect.

Aside from an initial two weeks of maternity leave for the mother, up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared between parents.

The rules mean that parents can also take time off at the same time to look after a newborn.

The Institute of Directors has previously warned the new law could create a “nightmare” for employers.

The changes were pushed for by the Liberal Democrats whilst in coalition government.

How it works

  • Shared parental leave is open to parents whose baby is due, or who have a child matched or placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015.
  • It must be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday, or within one year of adoption.
  • Eligible parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay, after an initial two weeks of leave that is compulsory for the mother to take.
  • Shared parental leave can be taken in one block, or split into blocks with periods of work in between.
  • Statutory shared parental pay is paid at £139.58 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. Source: UK Government; ACAS