Human Resources

Shared Parental Leave

Quick guide to Shared Parental Leave and Pay

 The information below is intended to give an overview only. Full details are set out in the University’s Shared Parental Pay Procedure Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure [PDF 317.93KB].

 What is Shared Parental Leave (SPL)? 

  • A new right for mothers, fathers and partners of mothers of children due on or after 5 April 2015, or adoptive parents who have a child placed with them for adoption on or after 5 April 2015.
  • Eligible mothers, adopters, fathers or partners can elect to share up to 50 weeks SPL within the first year of the child’s life or the first year of the child being placed for adoption provided that the mother or primary adopter has returned to work or reduced or given notice to reduce their entitlement to maternity/adoption leave and pay or maternity allowance.

 Who can take Shared Parental Leave?

 To qualify for shared parental leave, the mother or adopter must:

  • Have a partner
  • Be entitled to either maternity/adoption leave or to statutory maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance
  • Have reduced or given notice to reduce their maternity/adoption leave and or their maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance.

 A parent intending to take SPL from the University (whether they are the mother, adopter or the partner) must:

  • Be an employee
  • Share the primary responsibility for the child with the other parent at the time of the birth or placement
  • Have properly notified their entitlement and intention to take SPL, as set out on the University’s Shared Parental Leave and Pay Procedure Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure [PDF 317.93KB]
  • Have been continuously employed by the University for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth or for at least 26 weeks by the end of the Matching Week in the case of adoption.

AND the person with whom they are sharing their leave must:

  • Have worked for 26 of the 66 weeks leading up to the baby’s due/matching date and earned an average of at least £30 per week in any 13 weeks within that period.

 When and how can I take Shared Parental Leave? 

  • At any time from two weeks after the date on which the child is born or placed, until 12 months after the child is born or placed.
  • SPL must be taken in complete weeks.
  • The two people sharing SPL can be off on leave at the same time, back at work at the same time, or take it in turns to take time off to care for the child.
  • Up to three requests can be made to book, vary or cancel a period of SPL.
  • Each of the three requests can be for either a single continuous block of leave or for two or more periods of discontinuous leave.
  • Requests for a continuous block of leave will always be granted, where the required notification and notice requirements have been met.
  • Requests for discontinuous leave will be subject to agreement from the employee’s senior manager.
  • SPL can start for the partner while the mother or adopter is still on maternity or adoption leave as long as she has given binding notice to end her leave.
  • Eight weeks’ notice must be given before a block of leave begins. 

How long can Shared Parental Leave last? 

  • The minimum period is one continuous week and the maximum period is 50 weeks. 

What will I be paid during Shared Parental Leave? 

  • If the two people sharing SPL are eligible for Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), they will be entitled to share up to 37 weeks of ShPP between them.
  • The rate of ShPP is set by the government and details of the rate applicable from 6 April 2015 can be found at https://www.gov.uk/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2015-to-2016
  • If the employee is not entitled to ShPP or has exhausted their ShPP entitlement, SPL will be unpaid.
  • For further details of eligibility for ShPP, see section 4 of the Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure (link below).

 What do I need to do if I want to take Shared Parental Leave? 

  • Meet with your local HR Adviser and your manager to discuss your eligibility, your options and your plans at the earliest opportunity.
  • If you are the mother or the adopter, at least eight weeks before you want your SPL to start, notify the University that you wish to curtail your maternity or adoption leave (see section 5 of the Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure).
  • At least eight weeks before you want your SPL to start, complete and return a Notification of Entitlement & Intention form (see section 6 of the Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure).
  • At least eight weeks before you want your SPL to start, complete and return a SPL Period of leave booking notice (see section 7 of the Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure).

Shared Parental Leave & Pay Procedure [PDF 317.93KB]