What is Shared Parental Leave and Pay?

What is Shared Parental Leave and Pay?

 You may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) gives the mother of a baby the right to choose to end their maternity leave and pay, and opt for Shared Parental Leave instead, to share the time off after birth or adoption with a partner. This then allows both parents the opportunity to use leave in a more flexible way either be at home together, or to work at different times, and share care during their child’s first year.

How do I know if we are eligible for Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay?

 The Government has provided an online tool to help employers and their employees check eligibility for Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay at www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay.

In order to use this tool you will need to know the following information:

  • your child’s due date or birth date
  • your and your partner’s employment status and earnings; and
  • if you and your partner can get Statutory Maternity Pay or Statutory Paternity Pay.

Both parents must meet the eligibility conditions to be able to share entitlement to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). If only one qualifies then you cannot share the leave. If only one parent is eligible then they can use SPL to book leave in separate blocks, even if their partner can’t share it.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you have the right to request Shared Parental Leave from your employers as long as you give at least 8 weeks notice of wanting to move to SPL.

What Shared Parental Leave will I be entitled to?

 If you’re eligible and you or your partner can end Maternity or Adoption Leave and Pay (or Maternity Allowance) early, you can take:

  • the remainder of the 52 weeks of leave (up to a maximum of 50 weeks) as Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
  • the remainder of the 39 weeks of pay or Maternity Allowance (up to a maximum of 37 weeks) as Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

Example: Helen and Phil are both eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL). Helen ends her Maternity Leave after 10 weeks, leaving 42 weeks (of the total 52 week entitlement) available for SPL. She takes 30 weeks SPL and Phil takes the other 12 weeks.

How much pay will I get on Shared Parental Leave?

 Statutory ShPP is paid at the rate of £156.66 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. This is the same as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) except that during the first six weeks SMP is paid at 90% of whatever you earn (with no maximum).

You should check whether your employer offers any enhancements to these statutory minimums for parents on Shared Parental Leave.

Example: Hannah qualifies for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and earns £200 per week. She is paid £180 (90% of her average weekly earnings) as SMP for the first six weeks, then £156.66 a week after that. If Hannah was then to choose to end her maternity leave at week 10 to move to on to SPL/ShPP she would continue to receive £156.66 per week for the remainder of her ShPP.

Further information

More information on the Shared Parental Leave and Pay is available on our factsheet which you can download from our website.

For personalised guidance on Shared Parental Leave and Pay, work-life balance and workplace legislation affecting parents, please contact our Family Benefits Advice Service on 028 9267 8200.