Countdown to Shared Parental Leave begins
There are just six weeks to go until mothers and fathers with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 can start sharing up to 50 weeks of parental leave.
285,000 working couples a year are expected to be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL), with parents giving their employers 8 weeks’ notice of the pattern of leave they intend to take.
To help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, BIS and Acas have shared the following tips when considering Shared Parental Leave:
- the first thing to do is make sure you are eligible for Shared Parental Leave. Eligibility can be checked using this quick and easy online tool.
- talk to your partner before speaking to your employer. The combinations are flexible so make sure they fit around your life and work for you as a couple. Maybe you want to double up in the early days for extra support or you might decide to tag-team halfway through – the choice is yours.
- have the conversation with your employer as early as you can. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to make plans for your time away from the work. Remember you have to give your employer at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intention to take Shared Parental Leave.
- check to see if your employer offers an enhanced package (a package over and above statutory), and if they do, what type of package it is.
- most importantly, know your rights. No employers can opt out of Shared Parental Leave if you are eligible.