Shared parental leave: what is it and how can it help me?

Last updated: 04 Mar 2020

The provisions under the Children and Families Act introducing shared parental leave and pay came into effect on 1 December 2014. The provisions will apply for children born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015.

Shared parental leave will enable eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks’ leave and will allow them flexibility to decide whether they take it in turns to take the time off to look after the child or to be off work at the same time.

The amount of paid leave available mirrors the statutory maternity leave arrangements: ie, 39 weeks available at the statutory minimum pay and 13 weeks’ unpaid leave – less the two weeks’ compulsory leave directly following the birth/adoption.

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