This is a new right which apples to babies due to be born after April 5th 2015. The theory is good but the regulations are complex and drawn up in my opinion by someone who never run a small business. I have attempted to summarise the primary conditions below
- Applies to babies born after April 5th 2015 the date is the anticipated due date not the actual therefore parents of babies due on April 4th but born on April 5th or later will NOT be eligible conversely babies due on April 6th bit born on April 4th WILL be eligible.
- Applies to maternity leave other than the 2 weeks compulsory leave.
- Applies to mother and partners who undertakes caring responsibility for child (not necessarily the biological partner).
- If couples elect to take shared parental leave mother gives up rights under maternity leave specifically the right to be paid 90% of average earnings for 1st six weeks of maternity pay therefore I think it is unlikely any mother will give up this benefit therefore ShPl is likely to apply to ‘only’ 48 weeks of maternity leave.
- Mother can at any time opt to take ShPL but by doing so gives up the rest of Maternity leave.
- There are contribution and earnings test to qualify for ShPL the mother must have 26 weeks service by at least 15 weeks before expected due date Partner has to be working for at least 26 weeks in the preceding 66! And be earning at least £30/week.
- Both partners have to sign a declaration confirming they are eligible the employers do not have to check if fraud is suspected HMRC will handle and check eligibility.
- There are specific rules for continuous or discontinuous requests employer can reject discontinuous requests within 14 days of an application but must provide valid reasons employer cannot refuse a request for continuous ShPL.
- Employee can opt for 3 periods of discontinuous leave.
- Normal 2 weeks Paternity leave is still a right and must be taken ShPL kicks in.
- Employee must not suffer any detriment for taking ShPL and similar rules re redundancy applies to people on ShPL as on Maternity Leave.
- People on SHPL can take up to 20 SPLIT days each during period of ShPL in addition to any KIT days taken during maternity leave.
- The rates of pay for people on ShPL are the same as maternity pay (not including the 1st 6 weeks) £138.18.
- ShPL must be taken before child’s 1st birthday
I can only hope for small businesses the take up is as low as it was for additional parental leave. Please contact me for further information and for help in this and any other HR area on 0203 640 7748 or at firstname.lastname@example.org