Mayer Brown


What contractual pay is offered to mothers* on maternity leave? 13 weeks at full pay, 13 weeks at half pay and 13 weeks at the lower rate of SMP
What contractual pay and leave is being offered to fathers/other parent who opt to take SPL? The same as above, we are mirroring our maternity leave
Does contractual pay have to be repaid if the employees does not to return? Individuals must return for at least 12 months or be liable to repay all or part of the non-statutory pay element depending on number of months returned
Will entitlement to SPL be reduced according to SML already taken? No
Is your contractual Shared Parental Pay reduced by the number of weeks of SMP received by the mother? No
Can SPL be taken from day one of employment? No, the following conditions apply; a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service with the firm as at the end of the QW or for an adopted child, as at the end of the 15th week before notification of having been matched with the child
Is it tied to the date of the child’s birth? It is tied to the date maternity leave commences as opposed to the birth of the child
Are there any limitations on how SPL can be taken ie minimum continuous block? No
Do you incentivise certain patterns of leave? Yes, it is financially more advantageous for individuals to take SPL at the beginning of the maternity leave in order to receive full or half pay
Do you offer a bonus on return from SPL if minimum period it taken? No

*or primary adopter

How are you communicating and encouraging people to take SPL?

We have published the policy on our intranet and promoted it through our weekly internal communications email, which goes to all employees in the UK.  We also include it in our maternity information packs, given to all pregnant employees and have posted it to employees currently on maternity/paternity leave.

Can you describe what wider cultural changes needed to support SPL are being implemented?

As with flexible working, we are engaging in various programmes to ensure that we increase awareness on a range of issues to improve diversity and inclusion within the firm.  We have recently re-launched our Family Network and have four Partners heading up the Family Network steering committee.

What do you expect take up of SPL amongst fathers to be? Have you surveyed your employees about SPL and uptake?  Other surveys have shown that mothers may be unwilling to relinquish maternity leave: have you detected similar?

We spoke to all male employees that had taken paternity leave in the past 12 months to ask if they would have taken SPL had it been available to them.  We also asked how long they would most likely have taken and when.  We spoke to all pregnant employees, asking if they were aware of the new legislation and whether they were keen to learn more.  Most said that they were reluctant to relinquish more than a couple of weeks of their maternity leave.

Do you have any insight into how parents might like to take SPL? Which is best for your business in terms of planning?

We have had a number of enquiries from male employees and are expecting to get a handful of requests from male employees requesting 2-4 weeks SPL, to be taken immediately after their paternity leave.