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Daddy Day Care - Slow take up

There are some early adopters of the new rules but general awareness of Shared Parental Leave remains low, with many new parents completely unaware of what the options are.  Many employers are similarly unaware of the new legislation and at a loss as to how to manage the administration.

In summary, the new rules are as follows:

For those with a baby due on or after 5th April this year, Shared Parental Leave (SPL) has been available to both working parents.  This means that a mother could return to work 2 weeks after giving birth (4 weeks if working in a factory), with her spouse or partner then taking the balance of the 52 weeks as parental leave. 

Some points to note:

  • To qualify, the mother must have met the eligibility criteria for Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Couples sharing leave can be off at the same time, or separately
  • The leave must be used within 1 year of child’s birth or adoption
  • Leave can be taken in blocks (up to 3 in the year)
  • SMP becomes Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) and will be available for the balance of the 39 weeks on a shared basis.

There are clearly some complications with the new legislation, and the record keeping requirements are a step up from what businesses are used to.  The new flexibility is to be welcomed but it will be very interesting to see how behaviour changes in the coming months and years.

For more information, go to https://www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay-employer-guide