Shared parental leave
This factsheet for CIPD members was last updated in April 2015.
What is shared parental leave and why has it been introduced?
Shared parental leave is a new way for parents to share statutory leave and pay on the birth of a child. It has replaced the additional paternity leave regime which enabled an eligible employee to care for their child after the mother had returned to work for a period of between two and 26 weeks, starting 20 weeks after the child's birth. However, it is separate from the right to unpaid parental leave and has not replaced the current maternity leave and pay regime. Similar rights apply to adoptions. The intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement are also entitled to take advantage of shared parental leave. These rights also apply to partnerships of the same sex, so references in this factsheet to fathers should be taken as including women in same-sex partnerships.
This introductory factsheet relates to the shared parental leave regime which applies to England, Wales and Scotland only.
The right to shared parental leave only applies to employees who fulfil the relevant eligibility criteria which are explained below. The new right allows the mother to choose to bring her maternity leave to an end at any point after the initial two week compulsory maternity leave period following the birth of the child. The parents can then choose how to split up the remaining weeks of leave between them. Shared parental leave can be taken by each parent separately or at the same time.
Shared parental leave applies to parents of children due on or after 5 April 2015 and has been brought into effect by various sets of legislation.
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- What is shared parental leave and why has it been introduced?
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