Shared Parental Leave (SPL) enables both parents to share up to 50 weeks of a mother’s 52 weeks of maternity leave. The mother must take the first 2 weeks of maternity leave and then all or a proportion of the remaining leave can be converted into SPL, which can be shared between both partners.
There are a number of eligibility criteria that both partner's must meet for SPL. A mother must:
- Be entitled to maternity leave and/or to statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance
- Have curtailed, or given notice that she will curtail, her maternity leave and any statutory maternity pay/maternity allowance on a set date
A parent who intends to take SPL (partner or mother) must:
- Be an employee (i.e. not unemployed, self-employed or retired)
- Share the primary responsibility for the child with the other parent
- Have properly notified their employer of their entitlement to SPL and provided the necessary declarations and evidence
In addition, a parent wanting to take SPL is required to satisfy the ‘continuity of employment test’ that they:
- have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the baby’s due date; and
- will still be working for the same employer at the start of each period of SPL.
Their partner must meet the ‘employment and earnings test’ that they have:
- worked for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to the baby’s due date; and
- have earned an average of at least £30 a week in any 13 of those 26 weeks.
The full eligibility criteria are set out in the SPL application forms above.
A notice to book a period of SPL must be submitted at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the leave for it to be valid.
SPL is in addition to the 2 weeks of paternity/partner leave on the birth/adoption of a child.