Shared parental leave lets working parents share statutory leave and pay when their child is born or when they adopt a child. Parents can choose how they allocate shared parental leave between them and whether they wish to take the leave separately or simultaneously. The system is an attempt to move away from old-fashioned, inflexible arrangements towards a more equal system approach which allows both parents to assist with childcare while benefiting from the right to return to work.

This member-only factsheet examines the full set of eligibility criteria for shared parental leave and the conditions outlined by the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 which apply in Great Britain. Key considerations include the impact of shared parental leave on maternity and paternity leave, how the system works, shared parental pay, and what protection is available for employees taking up shared parental leave.

This factsheet was written by Lewis Silkin LLP, a law firm with particular expertise in employment, reward and immigration, and last updated by CIPD staff. This publication provides general guidance only: expert advice should be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

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