Shared Parental Leave

8 April 2015

Children and Families Act 2014

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is now available for parents to take in the first year of their child’s life, or the first year after placement for adoption. It is available in respect of all children whose expected week of childbirth (EWC) is on or after 5 April 2015, or who are placed for adoption on or after this date. The EWC is the relevant date, as opposed to the actual date of childbirth.

SPL allows parents to share their leave entitlement following the birth of a child. It allows the mother of the child to curtail her entitlement to maternity leave in order to share the balance with the child’s other parent. In the case of adoptions, the primary adopter may share the balance with the secondary adopter. SPL is optional and parents are not obliged to take it, although should they be eligible and wish to take it, employers are legally bound to allow this entitlement. The default position will remain that the mother, or primary adopter, will be entitled to 52 weeks of leave – of which 39 are paid.

The implementation of SPL replaces Additional Paternity Leave (APL) in respect of children who have an EWC of 5 April 2015 or later. It should be noted that parents of children whose EWC was prior to this date are still entitled to take APL but are unable to take SPL.

SPL is a statutory right. If your handbooks do not make reference to this, it is recommended that you update them to reflect the current entitlements. If you require our assistance, please do not hesitate to give us a call.


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