Shared Parental Leave – The Countdown Begins

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Posted in:HR and Employment|February 26, 2015 | Join the mailing list


It’s not long until our Shared Parental Leave seminar on the 3rd March, in which we will provide employers with key information that they need to know regarding the new Shared Parental Leave Regulations and how to prepare for the legal changes.

The new regulations mean that mums whose babies are due (or people who are due to adopt a child) on or after the 5th April 2015 can start sharing up to 50 weeks of their leave with the child’s father or the mother’s partner (or the adopter’s partner).

Not all parents will be eligible for shared parental leave (“SPL”); the government expects that around 285,000 working couples a year will qualify. Many individuals will now be wondering whether they will be eligible for maternity, paternity or SPL and how
much pay they might be entitled to during SPL.  Of course, it will be important for employers to understand the eligibility criteria too.

To aid people with this, an online calculator has been developed by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (“BIS”), allowing prospective parents to work out their leave and pay entitlements.

You can find this quick and easy tool
here.

In a nutshell, how will SPL work? Very briefly, it can be taken at any time during the baby’s first year of life, and must be taken in weekly blocks. It doesn’t have to be taken in one long block, so parents could intersperse blocks of SPL with weeks of work,
subject always to the agreement of their employer.

Employees must give at least 2 months’ notice of their intended leave patterns, so expectant parents should be thinking now about speaking to their employers.  Simultaneously, employers need to be familiar with the new rights, processes, and how it could affect
them.

Acas have published a free guide on SPL, which goes into detail for both employees and employers, and can be found

here.

Our SPL seminar will identify the main points employers need to be aware of when reviewing and amending their policies, and will summarise how these complex new regulations will work in practice.

There are some complicated aspects to the scheme, including what to do if employees change their leave plans, or how the new measures might fit in with existing occupational maternity schemes.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinton shared her views on the new regulations last week, saying that:

“Shared Parental Leave will kickstart a change where fathers feel empowered to take time off to look after their kids and not feel constrained by out-dated stereotypes. We recognise that this isn’t going to be easy for those at the forefront of the changes,
but we also know that for many dads the nerves they feel about having a conversation with their boss around leave will be worth it in the end.”

Nothing is more special than the arrival of a child into a family, and this new flexibility for parents to adjust to their new lives is in the interest of both employees and employers alike.

Reserve your place now on our
SPL seminar
– there are only very few places left, so act fast, and make sure you’re up to speed on Shared Parental Leave.


Visit the link above, or call 0161 829 2599 for more information.
For more information about any of the above, please contact
Nigel Crebbin
of Berg on 0161 833 9211 or email him at
nigelc@berg.co.uk
.

Follow us on Twitter: @Berg_HR

(The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.)

 

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