As stated in our latest Employment Law Newsletter a key update within family friendly legislation for April is the introduction of Shared Parental Leave. This means that eligible parents of babies due on or after 5 April 2015 will enjoy Shared Parental Leave and pay and women may shorten their right to maternity leave to enable their partner to take shared parental leave. In short parents will now have the opportunity to share 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks of pay (similar rules will apply to adoptive parents).
Please find attached a Shared Parental Leave policy, procedures and flowcharts to reflect these changes which will outline the eligibility criteria and process necessary to manage applications from
In a male dominated industry like construction the forthcoming updates to the family friendly legislation this April may well have an impact on your business. Giving parents more choice in how they care for their children during the first year of life, the introduction of Shared Parental Leave could bring with it an influx of requests.
The new policy means that shared parental leave is available to eligible parents of babies due on or after 5 April 2015. Mothers can chose to end their maternity leave early to enable their partner to take shared parental leave. In short, parents will now have the opportunity to share 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks pay between them. Similar rules will apply to adoptive parents.
So will Shared Parental Leave replace current maternity, adoption and statutory paternity leave?
No, Shared Parental Leave is optional for parents. It is intended to give working families more flexibility and choices over when they take leave during the first year of their child’s life or adoption. They can also choose who takes it and, if they wish, both parents can be on leave at the same time. Shared Parental Leave does not replace the maternity or adoption leave entitlements of 52 weeks (39 weeks paid and 13 unpaid), and the two week compulsory maternity leave period immediately following the birth of a child or adoption placement will also remain in place.
The current two weeks statutory paternity leave will remain available, meaning that parents can still choose to take leave following a birth or adoption placement in line with the current system. Fathers or partners may take both the two weeks statutory paternity leave and Shared Parental Leave if they wish.
So will Shared Parental Leave replace Additional Paternity Leave?
Yes it will ,the Additional Paternity Leave provisions introduced in 2011, which allows the child’s father or the mother’s partner to take up to 26 weeks’ leave, will be abolished from 5 April 2015 and effectively be replaced by Shared Parental Leave. Therefore, if expectant fathers or partners now wish to take a longer period of family leave, they would need to do so via the new Shared Parental Leave regulations.
Give THSP a call on 03456 122 144 to discuss how this could affect your workforce.