During November 2014 we are going to focus on the new Shared Parental Leave legislation that will come into force in December, and apply to the parents of children who are born or adopted from April 2015.

We will be covering:

  • Who will be eligible and what happens if eligibility changes, for example because one parent has lost their job
  • How you identify how much shared parental leave is available to each parent
  • The steps a parent has to take upon the birth of a child
  • The steps an adopter has to take upon adoption of a child
  • What you need to pay parents
  • Issues around return to work

Each Thursday during November a video will be available dealing with a different issue arising under this new legislation.  There will also be an opportunity to ask a question on this topic and receive a FREE answer.  All the questions and answers will be shared on our web site so you will be able to see what has been asked and what the answer was.

Knowledge November 1 – Eligibility for shared parental leave

We’re starting with a video and then four different scenarios that you might find apply to you.  If not, please feel free to ask a question – and check out the answers we’ve already posted!

KN1 pic

Watch Anna’s video for an introduction to shared parental leave and a discussion around eligibility.

Scenario 1

The mother (or primary adopter) does not have sufficient service to qualify – that is, they have not worked for 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the baby’s expected due date, or the matching date for adoption.  This means they cannot themselves take shared parental leave but their partner works for an employer where there is an enhanced pay scheme in place.  In this case the mother may well want to curtail their maternity allowance in order to allow their partner to avail themselves of the more generous position that they receive at their employers.

Scenario 2

The mother or primary adopter is a high earner and has worked for the same employer for two years.  Their partner is a self-employed artist – for them to qualify he or she must meet the ’employment and earnings’ test.  That test is that, in the 66 weeks leading up to the baby’s expected due date or the adoption matching date, the person has worked for at least 26 weeks and earned an average of at least £30 a week in any 13 weeks.  Provided the self-employed artist is therefore selling their work and meets this test, the mother or primary adopter will still be able to curtail her maternity leave or their adoption leave.  For this couple it may be financially beneficial for the mother or primary adopter to curtail their maternity leave/adoption leave in order to get back to work so that their partner can avail themselves of shared parental leave and earn shared parental pay at the statutory rate. Clearly, if the mother or primary adopter was entitled to enhanced pay with their employer, this may incentivise them to continue on maternity/adoption leave.

Scenario 3

A mother or primary adopter has 26 weeks service by the expected week of childbirth or qualifying week when the child is placed for adoption. However, before they reached that point or before they reached the point at which they were going to curtail their maternity leave or adoption leave, they face a redundancy situation in work.  If they were selected for redundancy they would not have remained continuously employed up until the week before any period of shared parental leave starts. They become no longer eligible.  This would cause this person complications.

Click here for a link to our previous blog entry on this subject.

Scenario 4

John and Jo both work for the same employer. Their baby is due on 31st March 2015, according to the MATB1 which Jo supplies. They are enquiring of their employer how the shared parental leave scheme will work. As the baby is not due on or after 1st April 2015, this couple are not going to qualify for shared parental leave. They will fall under the current position which means the mother will be entitled to take up to 12 months maternity leave but if she chooses to return to work earlier than that, she can trade some of her maternity leave with John so that he can take additional paternity leave, provided he also has 26 weeks service at the 15th week before the expected week of confinement. This scenario illustrates how it may be useful for employers to start publishing information about how shared parental leave is going to work well in advance of the legislation coming into force as there is likely to be confusion amongst employees. By publishing the details sooner rather than later, hopefully a dialogue can be encouraged with employees well in advance of them wanting to invoke their rights. Employers will need to amend their paternity policies to make it clear that from April 2015 additional paternity leave will no longer exist.


Email Anna for free advice on shared parental leave. All the questions and answers will be available on our web site

Do you need a Shared Parental Leave Policy?

Ask Anna to develop a Shared Parental Leave Policy for your company at a special November price of £199 + VAT.

Email Anna for more details

Do you need some training?

Would you prefer training specially tailored to your business?  Ask Anna about reduced rates for training courses booked this November.