- 29 Apr
Shared Parental Leave and Pay – An Employers Guide
The recent introduction of the Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay legislation means that there will now be greater equality in the workplace following birth or adoption.
From the 5th April 2015 the new legislation means that once mums have taken the first 2 weeks after birth / adoption, the remaining 50 weeks can now be shared between mum and dad, however they wish.
These new rights apply to all parents in work, including those who are adopting, same-sex couples, co-habiting couples and those who are bringing up a child together, even if the baby is from a previous relationship.
It is important to be aware of the eligibility requirements, which must be met in order for your employees to benefit from this new entitlement:
- One parent must have been employed for at least 26 weeks with the same employer, by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due or when matched with an adopted child.
- The other parent must have worked for a minimum of 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to the due date. They must also have earned a minimum of £30 per week in 13 of those 66 weeks.
Parents will have a great degree of flexibility in how they wish to split the remaining 50 weeks between them. For example they could decide to take it at the same time or at different times. They can also choose not to take it all in one go and may book up to three blocks of leave during the child’s first year. However, they must provide employers with at least eight weeks notice before taking the leave.
Shared parental pay is only given for 37 weeks; the remaining 13 weeks are unpaid. The current rate of pay is £139.58 per week or 90% of your employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. However, you can choose to pay more if you wish.
Initial Government estimates are that between 2 – 8% of parents will use the new entitlement in 2015 – 2016.
The new rules are may initially appear quite complicated so if you are still unsure about your responsibilities as an employer then the government’s official website (Gov.uk) has more information including a guide for employers. Click this link to find out more.
In addition Acas have also produced a very helpful guide, which can be found by clicking this link.