NEWSFLASH: Are you ready for the share?

31 March 2015

Time for a brief reminder of the employment law issue about to hit you very soon: Additional Paternity Leave is being thrown out of the window but parents will be able to take Shared Parental Leave instead.

Shared Parental Leave can be taken by eligible parents of a) babies due to be born or; b) children placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015.  This means that once a birth mother has taken 2 weeks of Compulsory Maternity Leave, the remaining 50 weeks of leave can be shared between the mother and her partner, who can take turns, or can take leave at the same time.

Parents will be eligible as long as they are both are currently employed/ self-employed or have worked in an employed or self-employed capacity in an employed or self-employed capacity in at least 26 of the 66 weeks immediately before the expected week of the baby’s birth and earning on average at least £30 a week based on any 13 of those week.

If an employee wants to take Shared Parental Leave, the eligible employee must notify their employer of their entitlement to, and intention to take, Shared Parental Leave.  To share the leave, the mother must curtail her maternity leave and maternity pay and ‘share’ it with her partner.  Employees can apply to take discontinuous periods of leave but employers can refuse this and instead require employees to take their leave as a single continuous block.

The Shared Parental Leave provisions are quite complex; more guidance on Shared Parental Leave can be found here: but we are we are happy to deal with any queries that you may have about the new regime and to provide you with a policy for your Handbook.

What else happens on 5 April 2015?

  • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases to £78,335
  • The maximum week’s wage for calculating redundancy payments increases to £475
  • Statutory Maternity/Shared Parental pay increases to £139.58 per week
  • Statutory Sick Pay increases to £88.45 per week

If you would like to chat to one of us about what this means for you or your business, please telephone us on 0203 178 5360 or email us by clicking here.