Shared Parental Leave – What do you need to know?

11th February 2015
Shared Parental Leave – What do you need to know? image

Shared Parental Leave – What do you need to know?

What is Shared Parental Leave (“SPL”)?

SPL is a new entitlement for eligible parents of babies due, or children placed for adoption, on or after 5th April 2015.

SPL enables parents to share the caring responsibility evenly, or have one parent take the main caring role, depending upon their preferences and circumstances.

The amount of leave available is calculated using the mother’s entitlement to Maternity Leave/Adoption Leave which allows her to take up to 52 weeks of leave.  If she reduces her Maternity Leave/Adoption Leave entitlement then she and or her partner may opt into SPL and take any remaining weeks as SPL.

Eligibility criteria

To quality for SPL for one or both parents, the mother must:-

  1. Have a partner.
  1. Be entitled to maternity leave/adoption leave; or to statutory maternity pay/adoption pay or maternity allowance; and
  1. Have curtailed, or given notice to reduce, their maternity leave/adoption leave or their pay/allowance.

The parent who intends to take SPL must:-

  1. Be an employee;
  1. Share the primary responsibility for the child with the other parent at the time of birth or placement for adoption; and
  1. Have properly notified their employer of their entitlement and have provided the necessary declarations and evidence.

In addition a parent wanting to take SPL is required to satisfy the “Continuity of Employment Test” and their partner must meet the “Employment and Earnings Test”.

(i)         “the Continuity of Employment Test”

The person has worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the child’s expected due date/matching date and is still working for the employer at the start of each leave period.

(ii)         “the Employment and Earnings Test”

In the 66 weeks leading up to the baby’s expected due date/matching date, the person has worked for at least 26 weeks and earned an average of at least £30.00 a week in any 13 weeks.

Sometimes only one parent will be eligible. For example a self-employed parent will not be entitled to SPL themselves but they may still pass the Employment and Earnings Test so their partner, if they are an employee, may still qualify.

If both parents are employees and both meet the qualifying requirements then there will be a joint entitlement and the parents will have to determine how to divide the leave and entitlement once the mother has decided to curtail her maternity/adoption leave.

Shared Parental Pay (“SPP”)

A mother, subject to certain criteria, will be entitled to statutory maternity pay/adoption pay/maternity allowance up to 39 weeks.  If the mother gives notice to reduce her entitlement before she has received it for 39 weeks then any remaining weeks could become available as SPP.

To qualify for SPP an employee needs to have met the “Continuity of Employment Test” as above and their partner must meet the “Employment and Earnings Test” as above.  In addition the employee must also have earned above the lower earnings limit in the 8 weeks leading up to and including the 15th week before the child’s due date/matching date and still be employed with the same employer at the start of the first period of SPP.

Currently the lower earnings limit is an average salary of £111.00 for the 8 weeks prior to the 15th week before the expected due date or matching date.

Currently SPP is paid at the rate of £138.18 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).  SPP will increase to £139.58 per week from the 5th April 2015.

SPL Policy

To ensure consistency in making and responding to notifications regarding SPL it is very useful for employers to set out the notification arrangement and the employees’ rights in a policy.

A policy should include:-

  1. A statement advising that all notices for a continuous period of leave, from eligible employees, will be accepted and that all request for discontinuous leave will be considered.
  1. The amount of notifications to book/vary leave available to the employee.
  1. How employees should inform their employer of their entitlement to SPL, who the notification should be sent to and what should be included in it.
  1. How a notice to book leave will be handled.
  1. The time limits for dealing with a notice to book SPL.
  1. SPL “in touch” days.
  1. Contact during SPL.
  1. The payments an employee may be entitled to while on SPL.
  1. Where to find forms and further information.

If you need advice regarding shared parental leave or assistance with drafting a company policy then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email or Gemma Mayer on 01755 722261 or email

Free Wills Month in October image

Free Wills Month in October

Maples are pleased to announce that they are taking part in Free Wills Month throughout October. If you are aged 55 or over you can make your Will for free and have the opportunity to help one or more of the sponsoring charities in the process. Appointments are limited in number and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

For further details please contact a member of our Wills and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer-
Jamie Dobbs-
Faye Blair-

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

Read More


Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.