Shared parental leave (SPL) is a relatively recent benefit which is often misunderstood. In essence, SPL aims to give parents more flexibility about how they share childcare during the first year of the child's life (or first year of placement in the case of adoption). SPL is a period of up to a maximum of 50 weeks in total, which is a combination of paid and unpaid leave.
The sections below address some common queries about shared parental leave. As always, please do contact your HR Adviser if you have a query which is not addressed here.
Yes, both parents can be absent from work on shared parental leave at the same time. The total amount of shared parental leave that the parents can share is 52 weeks, minus the amount of maternity leave taken by the mother or adoption leave taken by the primary adopter. All leave must be taken before the child’s first birthday or before the first anniversary of the day on which the child was placed for adoption.
In this case, you would need to end your maternity leave to take up shared parental leave. This involves completing a period of leave change form and forwarding it to HR. You need to give at least 8 weeks’ notice that you wish to take Shared Parental Leave.
Your manager should keep a manual record of the days taken so that you don’t exceed the statutory provision of up to 20 days.
No, up to 20 SPLIT days are available to all eligible staff, no matter what your hours of work are.
The School's Shared Parental Leave Policy sets out the main principles of SPL as well as further detail about how the process works.
Further afield, the Working Families website is a valuable resource covering SPL and everything else about family leave. Also, the ACAS website includes a good practice guide to SPL which you may find useful.