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Shared Parental Leave regulations 02/12/2014 New Shared Parental Leave regulations are in force, giving parents greater flexibility in how they share the care of their child

Shared Parental Leave regulations

New Shared Parental Leave regulations came into force on Monday, giving parents greater flexibility in how they share the care of their child in the first year after birth. The new rules, which apply to couples with babies due or children matched or placed for adoption on or after 5th April 2015, will allow parents to choose whether they want to share the mother’s maternity leave.

Under the new rules, mums will still take at least two weeks of maternity leave immediately after birth, but after that working couples have the opportunity to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.

The pattern of leave must be agreed between the employer and employee, with eight weeks’ notice. Parents can take leave at the same time, so they can be at home together from the birth if this is arranged.

There are expected to be as many as 285,000 working couples eligible to share leave from April 2015. The Government hopes that the changes in how maternity leave can be used will kick start a culture change in workplaces where fathers feel more confident in taking time off for childcare.

According to Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber, the change will also help employers retain talented staff.

“Shared Parental Leave will enable working parents to share maternity or adoption leave to allow both parents greater involvement with their child’s first year whilst employers have the potential to remain productive by agreeing new arrangements that work for their organisations,” he said. “As workplace experts, we have published a new free guide on Shared Parental Leave to help employers and employees understand how the new changes will affect them and how to manage leave requests fairly.”


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