Shared Parental Leave offers working biological and adoptive parents in England, Scotland, and Wales, increased work flexibility in the first year of their child’s life, from April 5 2015.
It replaces and improves on additional paternity leave, a maximum of 26 weeks leave that eligible dads and partner’s could take during the last 48 – 50 weeks of the 52 weeks of maternity leave, if the mother returns to work before it ends.
I am so thankful I found out about the session the NCT organised about it with Jo Swinson in December 2014; and even more that I was able to attend the session and learn about this very important entitlement.
Shared Parental Leave offers eligible working parents the opportunity to share:
- up to 50 weeks off work in the first year of their child’s life, after compulsory maternity leave
(The first 2 – 4 weeks, depending on the mother’s job, is protected as compulsory maternity leave)
- up to 37 weeks of pay during these 50 weeks
(The first 37 weeks of the 50 weeks)
As a first-time and working mum, below are the top 5 features of Shared Parental Leave that I really like. 1. It gives more legal recognition to the importance of mums in the workplace and dads in family life.
2. Each parent can request for it in up to 3 different weekly blocks, or more if your employer agrees, during its qualifying period of a maximum of 50 weeks.
You don’t have to ask for the separate blocks of leave in a go but you must make your request(s) 8 weeks in advance.
It’s also good to note that if you put your request in for separate leave blocks at the same time, your employer might ask you to take them together (you still get to choose when you start).
3. Each parent can take (guess how many) …. up to 20 paid Shared Parental Leave In Touch (SPLIT) days in agreement with their employer!
So basically, with careful planning within the rules and subject to agreement with your employers, you could both work part-time during your Leave!
The SPLIT days are in addition to the maximum 10 paid Keep In Touch days that mums can choose to take during their Maternity Leave (Maternity Leave has to end before Shared Parental Leave can be taken).
4. Both parents can take it at the same time, after the first 2 – 4 weeks of birth and within the particular child’s first year.
If you want at least one parent to provide childcare within the first year of your child’s life, you might not want to take this option, and instead use accrued holidays for the times both of you want to be at home together with your child or children.
5. Both parents do not have to be eligible for Shared Parental Leave for the one who is, to take it.
For example, if one parent doesn’t quality for it because e.g. they don’t have a paid job etc, the one who meets the conditions for Shared Parental Leave can still take it.
You can find out more about Shared Parental Leave on the government’s website.
What do you like about the new Shared Parental Leave legislation? Do you have any questions about it?
Linkup: You Baby Me Mummy & Mum's Days' #TheList 15 Mumsnet Shared Parental Leave Linky Becoming A Stay At Home Mum & Farmer's Wife and Mummy #MaternityMondays 14 Watching You Grow's #readallaboutit Ghostwritermummy and Mums the Word #MaternityMatters 7
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