Some examples of Shared Parental Leave
1) Both parents entitled
Nabeela and Jonathan are both teachers who have worked for their employers for over six years. They decide that initially Nabeela will take maternity leave of 12 weeks, starting a month before the due date, and Jonathan will take his ordinary paternity leave of 2 weeks when the baby is born. After her 12 weeks maternity leave, Nabeela will return to work for 6 weeks so that she can get to know her new class. Jonathan will take 6 weeks of Shared Parental Leave (SPL). That still leaves them with 34 weeks. They decide they would like to have some time off together, a further 8 weeks – this takes 16 weeks of their total parental leave (8 weeks’ each, taken at the same time). That leaves 18 weeks, of which Nabeela takes 12 and then returns to work. In total, they have taken 34 weeks of SPL, 2 weeks of ordinary paternity leave and 12 weeks of maternity leave. The SPL and maternity leave together are 46 weeks – so there are 6 weeks they decided not to take.
2) Only dad is entitled
Josh works for a logistics company and has been employed for 3 years. His partner Marie is a self-employed hairdresser, who meets the employment and earnings conditions. Marie decides to take 17 weeks off and gets Maternity Allowance (MA). She gives notice to Jobcentre Plus that she will be ending her MA early. Josh takes his ordinary paternity leave and then takes 15 weeks off at the same time as Marie. As Marie’s job doesn’t involve travelling, it is easier for her to return to work, so at this point he takes a further 7 weeks of SPL. They decide not to take any more SPL as it would be unpaid.
3) Only mum is entitled
Adeyola works for an NHS Trust and meets the conditions for maternity leave and Statutory Maternity Pay. Her partner Nathan is self-employed and meets the employment and earnings conditions. That means only Ade is entitled to Shared Parental Leave, if she wishes to take it. Ade decides to check the Trust’s maternity leave and shared parental leave policies before deciding what to do, as the couple can’t afford to lose out financially. NB Nathan is not entitled to any paid leave and will have to decide how much time he can afford to take.
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.