New rules on Shared Parental Leave

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is a new right that is due to come into force on 1st December 2014 and will enable eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share time off work after their child is born or placed. This could mean that the mother or adopter shares some of the leave with her partner, perhaps returning to work for part of the time and then resuming leave at a later date.

Shared Parental Leave is designed to give parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following birth or adoption. Parents will be able to share a pot of leave, and can decide to be off work at the same time and/or taking it in turns to have periods of leave to look after the child.

The option to use the new Shared Parental Leave rights will apply for parents who meet the eligibility criteria, where a baby is due to be born on or after 5 April 2015, or for children who are placed for adoption on or after that date. Schools will start to receive notice of eligibility and the intention to take Shared Parental Leave from qualifying employees from January 2015.

Key Points:

  • Employed mothers will continue to be entitled to 52 weeks of Maternity Leave and 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance.
  • If they choose to do so, an eligible mother can end her maternity leave early and, with her partner or the child's father, will be able to opt for Shared Parental Leave instead of Maternity Leave. If they both meet the qualifying requirements and both qualify, they will need to decide how they divide their total Shared Parental Leave and Pay entitlement between them.
  • Paid Paternity Leave of two weeks will continue to be available to fathers and a mother's or adopter's partners.
  • Adopters will have the same rights as other parents to Shared Parental leave and pay.
  • Intended parents in surrogacy who meet certain criteria will be eligible for statutory adoption leave and pay and Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

To assist our clients in preparation for these significant changes, we have created two policies that schools can implement. One is Shared Parental Leave (Birth) and the other is Shared Parental Leave (Adoption).  Our intention has been to create clear and robust systems that both employers and employees can follow.

If you are not our client but wish to receive information on our services, please contact us on

"Peterborough Learning Partnership CIC has worked with Judicium School Improvement for a number of years. We have always found them to be professional, committed to school improvement and dynamic in their response to national and local trends in education. We are delighted that many of our schools access the school improvement support that they offer.” Iain Simper, Chief Executive, Peterborough Learning Partnership

Sign up to our newsletter