Shared Parental Leave and Pay are here – Are you ready?
Shared parental leave and pay is for working parents whose babies are due on or after 5 April 2015. It gives families greater choice and flexibility over how they care for their child in the first year. Payment and Recovery of ShPP for tax year beginning 6 April 2015
Parents will be able to share a 50-week pot of leave (as the mother is obliged to take the first two weeks of the entitlement) starting when the child is born or date of adoption.
Both parents can be off work at the same time or can take turns to take time off to look after the child.
The leave can also be taken in discontinuous blocks and each parent can submit three separate notices to book this; however, a request for discontinuous leave can be refused by an employer, whilst a request for continuous leave cannot, and the time-off must be agreed with the employer at least eight weeks before it begins.
Statutory shared parental pay is 90% of your average weekly earnings, or £139.58 a week, whichever is lower.
Women will still have access to 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of pay if they want it, whilst two weeks of paid Paternity Leave will still be available but Additional Paternity Leave entitlement no longer exists.
To qualify for Statutory Shared Parental Pay one parent must be an employee and must pass the continuity of employment test (they must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the week in which the child arrives), whilst the other must meet the employment and earnings test (must have worked for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to the due date and have earned above the maternity allowance threshold of £30 week in 13 of those weeks).