What contractual pay is offered to mothers* on maternity leave? Subject to the mother qualifying for additional maternity leave. 52 weeks leave, 26 weeks enhanced full paid, 13 weeks SMP only, 13 weeks no pay.
What contractual pay and leave is being offered to fathers/other parent who opt to take SPL? Matching SPL to existing enhanced maternity provisions. The number of potential weeks enhanced pay available to a father/partner taking SPL is the same as the number of weeks enhanced pay available to a mother taking maternity leave.
Does contractual pay have to be repaid if the employees does not to return? No repayment is asked for
Will entitlement to SPL be reduced according to SML already taken? Yes – employees are only entitled to 26 weeks enhanced pay regardless of whether it is taken as maternity/adoption leave or SPL.
Is your contractual Shared Parental Pay reduced by the number of weeks of SMP received by the mother? Not if the mother works for another organisation.
Can SPL be taken from day one of employment? Yes
Is it tied to the date of the child’s birth? The weeks of enhanced pay on SPL can be taken at any time during the first year of the baby’s life/first year following parental order/placement for adoption.
Are there any limitations on how SPL can be taken ie minimum continuous block? No – policy replicates statutory provisions.
Do you incentivise certain patterns of leave? No
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?

The formal policy is currently being finalised. In addition, reference to SPL will be made in the maternity/paternity coaching brochure for employees.

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

We are enhancing our existing maternity support, to accommodate Fathers taking up SPL:

    • Offer 121 paternity coaching to Fathers taking up SPL
    • Enhance the new Dad’s/Father’s group sessions to accommodate those wishing to take SPL.  Will run specific Father sessions on SPL if sufficient number of employees are going through SPL
    • Offer line manager group sessions to include those with male employees taking up SPL; offer alternative 1:1 coaching for line managers with senior male employees taking up SPL (ED and MD ranks)
    • Ensure all Fathers requesting/on SPL are informed of the maternity/paternity support portal

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 have completed a very high-level review of external research that’s been done. The government’s literature predicts a low uptake. We have had numerous queries but no formal requests at this time. However, we expect more interest once the formal policy is updated.

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