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Dec 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Shared Parental Leave - UK

Shared Parental Leave became law in the UK on Monday 1 December 2014 and will apply to all parents of babies due to be born or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015. The new legislation will allow parents to share leave and childcare arrangements in the first year a child is born/placed for adoption.

With an expected 285,000 couples due to be eligible for Shared Parental Leave, it is expected that the new rules will kick start a culture of change in workplaces where fathers feel more confident in taking time off for childcare.

The Main Rules

Parents will be allowed to share a total of 50 weeks off work after having a baby. Leave may be taken at the same time or separately. Parents may take continuous or discontinuous blocks of leave.

Employers must approve requests for continuous periods of leave. Consideration and alternative arrangements can be given to requests for discontinuous blocks of leave.

Maternity/Adoption leave must be curtailed before Shared Parental Leave can commence.

Employees may submit a maximum three leave request notices, this may be increased at the discretion of the employer.

The only slightly negative aspect to the new rules is the onerous statutory notification and implementation process, which employers and employees will initially have to sift through.

What Employers Need to Do?

Whilst uptake for Additional Parental Leave (APL) was very low, it is expected that with Shared Parental Leave replacing APL the uptake will increase considerably as a result of the enhanced flexibility Shared Parental Leave offers. Whilst it is unlikely that there will be an immediate rush of requests, it is anticipated that they will gradually increase in the coming years.

In preparation, employers are recommended to revise their existing Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Policies as well as introduce a new Shared Parental Leave Policy.

In addition to a Shared Parental Leave Policy, Bright Contracts will also be providing template notification forms and producing guidance notes for managers on handling requests. Follow us on Twitter @BContractsUK for updates.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment, Employment Contract


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