Low uptake on shared parental leave

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It’s been three years since the Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statuary Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) came into force.

But according to recent figures only 1% of eligible parents took up in the option in 2016-17.

SPL and ShPP can be given to employees (if eligible) if they’ve had a baby or adopted a child.

“SPL allows parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave, 37 weeks of which are paid at statutory rate,” said Zoe Horswill, payroll manager at Ellis & Co.

“A mother may end her maternity leave, or commit to ending it at an identified future date, and share the remainder of what would have been her maternity leave with her partner.”

To qualify for SPL, an employee must share responsibility for the child with one of the following:

  • their husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
  • the child’s other parent
  • their partner (if they live with them)
  • they/their partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave, adoption pay or leave or Maternity Allowance.

They must also:

  • have worked for their employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or date they are matched with their adopted child)
  • still be employed by their employer whilst taking SPL
  • given the correct notice including a declaration that their partner meets the employment and income requirements which allow them to get SPL.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay

They can get ShPP if they’re an employee and one of the following applies:

  • they’re eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
  • they’re eligible for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and their partner is eligible for SMP, Maternity Allowance (MA) or SAP

They can also get ShPP if they’re a worker and they’re eligible for SMP or SPP.

“I put the reasoning behind the low uptake down to employees not knowing this is an option for them,” added Zoe.

“Employees and employers only think about maternity and parental pay, although SPL is always another option.”

For further information about this and any other pay roll matter contact Ellis & Co on 01244 343504.