Shared Parental Leave - How Will it Work With Your Employer?


Things are changing when it comes to time off work after you have a child. The government will be introducing shared parental leave next year but employees and employers alike are confused as to the impact of the changes when the new rules are introduced.

Parental Leave


Starting from early 2015, a mother and her partner will be able to take shared parental leave. Before they do so, they will need to make sure they are eligible. There is a 2 stage test that must be met by the mother and her partner for shared parental leave eligibility.

The mother must:

  • Have been in continuous employment for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected birth of the child
  • Continue to be employed by the same employer until the week before any shared parental leave is to be taken
  • Be the main caregiver to the child at the date of birth (not excluding any responsibilities of the partner or father of the child)
  • Be already entitled to statutory maternity leave with the child she is currently pregnant with, and
  • Have shortened her statutory maternity leave

There are a number of time limits in which notices and evidence should be given by the mother, but if she complies with the above conditions, she may be eligible for shared parental leave.

As for the mother's partner, they must have been working for their employer for at least 26 weeks and earned at least £30 a week on average for 13 of the 66 weeks before the baby is due.

How Do I Start the Process?

Before any shared parental leave can be taken, there are a number of things the mother must do to trigger the process. She must give a 'leave curtailment notice' indicating when she intends to begin and end her maternity leave. Alternatively, she can give her employer a declaration that states her partner's notice of entitlement and intention to take shared leave and her consent to that effect.

Starting the process for shared parental leave shouldn't be difficult when the rules come into force but employers who lack knowledge about how to implement the rules may deal with applications inappropriately.

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