- The right to shared parental leave applies to babies with an expected week of childbirth starting on or after 5 April 2015.
- The default position remains that a woman is entitled to 52 weeks' maternity leave and 39 weeks' maternity pay.
- A woman on maternity leave can commit to bringing her maternity leave and pay period to an end early. The balance of the maternity leave and pay period becomes available for either parent to take as shared parental leave and pay.
- For the tax year beginning April 2016 statutory shared parental pay rate will stay at £139.58 a week. The rate remains unchanged because of the low inflation rate to September 2015.
- Shared parental leave can be taken in periods of a week or multiples of a week.
- A parent can take a period of shared parental leave at the same time as the other parent is on maternity leave or shared parental leave.
- A parent will only qualify to take shared parental leave if the other parent meets basic work and earnings criteria and the parent taking the leave meets the individual eligibility criteria (such as having 26 weeks' continuous service at the 15th week before the EWC and remaining in the same employment).
- An employer must have at least eight weeks' notice of any period of shared parental leave.
- Each parent can make up to three requests for periods of shared parental leave. Whether the employer can refuse a request depends on whether the employee has asked for a continuous or discontinuous period of leave.
- Shared parental leave has to be taken before the child's first birthday.
- Rights during a period of shared parental leave mirror those of a woman on maternity leave: all terms and conditions of employment continue except those relating to remuneration.
- If employees suffer any detrimental treatment or are dismissed as a result of taking or asking to take shared parental leave they can bring a complaint to the employment tribunal.
|Shared leave for grandparents|
In October 2015 the government announced its intention to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents looking after grandchildren under the age of one. There were plans to consult on the new arrangement in the first half of 2016, with a view to changing the law by 2018, but so far no consultation has emerged from government.