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Statutory Shared Parental Pay (Adoption)

Employees may be entitled to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), SPL and ShPP must be taken within 1 year of adoption.

An employee can start SPL if they are eligible and they or their partner end their adoption pay early.

The remaining leave will then be available as SPL and the remaining weeks of pay will be available as ShPP.

An employee can share the leave with their partner if they’re also eligible for SPL, and can choose how much of the leave each of them will take.



An adopter and her partner are both eligible for SPL. The mother ends her adoption leave after 12 weeks, leaving 40 weeks (of the total 52 week entitlement) available for SPL. She takes 30 weeks and her partner takes the other 10 weeks.

SPL also lets an employee decide a flexible pattern of leave with their employer. Employees have the right to take SPL in up to 3 separate blocks but an employer can agree to more.



Sometimes only one adoptive parent of a couple will be eligible to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). This means that they can’t share the leave.

If an employee is eligible then they can use SPL to book their leave in separate blocks.

To qualify for SPL, the child’s mother must be eligible for adoption leave or pay.

Your employee must also:

  • have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date

  • still be employed by you while they take SPL 

  • give you the correct notice including a declaration that their partner meets the employment and income requirements which allow your employee to get SPL


Statutory Shared Parental Pay

Your employee can get ShPP if one of the following applies:

  • they qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay 

  • they qualify for Statutory Paternity Pay and have a partner who qualifies for Statutory Adoption Pay



If an employee is eligible and they or their partner end their adoption leave and pay early, then they can:

  • take the rest of the 52 weeks of leave (up to a maximum of 50 weeks) as Shared Parental Leave (SPL) 

  • take the rest of the 39 weeks of pay (up to a maximum of 37 weeks) as Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)


ShPP is paid at the rate of £148.68 a week or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.


Starting Shared Parental Leave

For Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to start, the adopter must do one of the following:

  • end their adoption leave by returning to work 

  • give you ‘binding notice’ (a decision that can’t normally be changed) of the date when they’ll end their adoption leave

Adopters must give you notice to end adoption pay.

SPL can start for the partner while the adopter is still on adoption leave if they have given binding notice to end their leave. This is different to Additional Paternity Pay and Leave.


What the employee must do

The employee must give their employer written notice of their entitlement to SPL and ShPP, including:

  • their partner’s name 

  • adoption leave start and end dates 

  • the total amount of SPL and ShPP available and how much they and their partner intend to take 

  • that they’re sharing childcare responsibility with their partner

It must also include a signed declaration from the partner stating:

  • their name, address and National Insurance number 

  • that they satisfy the qualifying requirements for your employee to take SPL and ShPP 

  • that they agree to your employee taking SPL and ShPP


Notice period

An employee must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of any leave they wish to take. 

Your employee has a statutory right to a maximum of 3 separate blocks of leave, although you can allow more if you wish.


Shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days

Your employee can work up to 20 days during SPL without bringing it to an end. These are called ‘shared parental leave in touch’ (or SPLIT) days.

These days are in addition to the 10 ‘keeping in touch’ (or KIT) days already available to those on adoption leave.

Keeping in touch days are optional - both you and your employee must agree to them.


Blocks of leave

An employee taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL) can split their leave into up to 3 separate blocks instead of taking it all in one go, even if they aren’t sharing the leave with their partner.

If both parents are taking SPL then they can take their leave at the same time as each other or at different times.

The employee must give you at least 8 weeks’ notice before a block of leave begins.


Splitting blocks

If you agree, the employee can split a block of leave into shorter periods of at least a week. For example they could work every other week during a 12-week block, using a total of 6 weeks of their SPL.

You can’t turn down a request for a block of leave if the employee is eligible and gives you the right notice. You don’t have to agree to the employee breaking the block of leave into shorter periods.



Calculating ShPP in BrightPay

To access this utility, simply click 'Payroll' and select the employee’s name on the left:

1. Under Statutory Pay, click Calendar

2. On the Calendar, click on the date on which the SPL will start

3. Select Shared Parental Leave (Adoption) from the Parenting Leave section at the top right of the screen

4. Under Leave Details, enter all relevant information and dates accordingly. (This only needs to be done once - if recording subsequent blocks of leave at a later date, simply go to step 6).

5. Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) - the program will automatically calculate the employee’s average weekly earnings for the purpose of calculating ShPP due.

The user can at their own discretion override the automatic calculation and manually enter an employee’s average weekly earnings. However it is recommended to seek advice from an accountant before doing so. To override the automatic calculation, simply untick the box and enter the amount.

6. Under Blocks of Leave, record each block of leave accordingly. Once ShPP payments for any given block have started, they will no longer be changeable.

7. Under Partner's Details, enter the partner's name and national insurance number.

8. Click Save when completed. The program will automatically update the calendar accordingly and apply the ShPP due in the relevant pay period(s).



Overriding the 'Average Weekly Earnings' Calculation

If existing payment records have not been recorded in BrightPay, the automatic calculation performed by the program after completing the above may be inaccurate. In the event of this occurring, the user may override the AWE by doing the following:

1. On the main Payroll screen, click the Edit icon in the employee’s Statutory Payments section

2. In Shared Parental Leave(Adoption), select the option ‘Override average weekly earnings’

3. Enter the average weekly earnings amount for the employee, then click out of this box

4. The program will calculate ShPP based on the AWE manually entered by the user



Recording SPLIT days in BrightPay

An employee can work up to 20 days during SPL without bringing it to an end. These are called ‘shared parental leave in touch’ (or SPLIT) days.


To record SPLIT Days in BrightPay:


1. Under Employees, select the employee from the listing and click their Calendar tab.

2. On the Calendar, select the date of the SPLIT day and click 'SPLIT Day' on the right hand side

3. Repeat if further SPLIT Days are taken

As soon as the number of SPLIT Days recorded in the employee's calendar exceeds 20 days, BrightPay will notify you in the relevant pay period that the employee is no longer entitled to ShPP due to having taken their 21st (or higher) SPLIT day.



How BrightPay calculates ShPP


BrightPay uses the full statutory week method when calculating & applying ShPP.


Monthly Payroll Example:

Shared Parental Leave begins on a Wednesday. Therefore the last day of the ShPP week will be a Tuesday.

ShPP will thus begin in the pay period in which the first Tuesday of the shared parental leave falls.

BrightPay will then establish how many Tuesdays fall in the pay period and apply the weekly ShPP rate to the number of Tuesdays there are.

Weekly Payroll Example:

Shared Parental Leave begins on a Wednesday. Therefore the last day of the ShPP week will be a Tuesday.

ShPP will thus begin in the weekly pay period in which the first Tuesday of the shared parental leave falls.

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