Home Advice & informationShared Parental Leave How to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) – notice and booking

How to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) – notice and booking

How to take Shared Parental Leave – notice and booking

To take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) you have to:

  • Give your employer written notice that you are entitled, and how much you intend to take (this isn’t binding, but gives your employer an indication).
  • Separately, you would then need to give at least 8 weeks’ notice of the actual shared parental leave you want to take. This is called booking your SPL.

You can book one lot of SPL, or you can book up to 3 separate blocks, and the blocks can be continuous or discontinuous. Each parent can issue up to 3 notices to book or vary leave, so you don’t have to decide about all your SPL at once. Employers don’t have to agree to discontinuous leave, so it’s a good idea to have a discussion with your employer early on about what they might be able to allow. They do have to agree if you just book one lot of continuous SPL.

Remember that if the other parent/partner is the mother or main adopter, s/he needs to either end maternity/adoption leave by returning to work (by giving 8 weeks notice), or give binding notice in advance that s/he will be doing this. If leave doesn’t apply (for example because of self-employment or agency work), and to ensure Statutory Shared Parental Pay is payable, it’s necessary to ensure that Maternity Allowance or SMP are ‘curtailed’. This means giving binding notice to the employer or Jobcentre Plus to end these payments early.

If you need more information on notice and booking SPL, see the GOV site or the ACAS website.

This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.

Have you heard about your right to request flexible working? Watch our film to find out more.

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