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AIBU to be utterly confused by shared parental leave?

(27 Posts)
CityDweller Wed 22-Jul-15 15:03:33

And if so, can someone help me work it out??? confused

I've read the info on the website several times, and looked it up elsewhere, but still can't work out if we're eligible, or how SPL impacts if the mother has additional maternity pay from her employer.

Our situation:
Both DH and I currently employed, earn over the threshold and will continue to be employed with same employers until after baby's due date. I am then planning on taking 6 months off. I get additional maternity pay from my employer during this time. We'd then like DH to get the rest of my 'unused' statutory maternity pay (about 13 weeks, I think). However, DH is planning to leave his job and go freelance about 2 or 3 weeks after the baby is born, until I go back to work, at which point he'll stop and look after DC. Does that disqualify us from SPL? (And if so, how bloody unfair!).

Neither of our employers seems any more clued up than we are about how this works (and DH works at tiny company with no HR department anyway, so they just figure out this kind of stuff as they go along!)

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Wed 22-Jul-15 15:18:01

If he's going freelance, then I'm assuming he won't be an employee any longer, so yes, you would both lose the entitlement to the SPL I think.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 22-Jul-15 15:23:09

On direct gov website. Each parent must qualify for SPL separately, to qualify you must have been employed by the same employer for 26 weeks prior to EDD and must stay with the same employer whilst you take SPL.
So on that basis of he leaves and goes freelance then no he won't qualify.

CityDweller Wed 22-Jul-15 15:25:01

That sucks OldBlood. Why is it ok for the policy to discriminate against those who work freelance or are self-employed??

I wonder if a way around it is to have DH take the 13 weeks of SPP right after baby is born (although I'm not sure whether that impacts my additional maternity pay from my employer).

I swear they make things like this purposely confusing/ difficult to dissuade people from taking it up.

museumum Wed 22-Jul-15 15:28:40

Self employed people get very little help from the govt I am sorry to say. It's the same with sickness etc. and something to get used to if your dh is going to be s-e make sure you have good critical illness cover etc.

BicycleMadeForTwo Wed 22-Jul-15 15:29:35

We are looking into SPL and both our employers have little to no info on it! I do think that if your husband was to take the leave at the beginning then your enhanced maternity package would be affected. HR pretty much told me to make sure DH took his leave once my additional maternity package ended otherwise we would lose out.

MamaLazarou Wed 22-Jul-15 15:31:50

Your DH won't be able to take the first 13 weeks of SPL. You have to take the first two weeks: it's compulsory.

CityDweller Wed 22-Jul-15 15:43:46

I'll ask my employer about DH taking the 13 weeks SPP 2 weeks after the baby's born then. And whether that affects my additional maternity pay package (I suspect it will).

How depressing and shit!

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 22-Jul-15 15:47:25

There are lots of disadvantages to being self employed if you have children. Salary sacrifice childcare vouchers would be a prime example.

Spartans Wed 22-Jul-15 16:41:47

Why can't he put of leaving for another year?

Does he have to leave when the baby is is a few weeks old.

I may be wrong but it sounds like he wants to quit work when baby is 3 weeks then get paid take pat leave, starting 23 weeks later?

Self employed do not qualify for lots of things. However there are lots of benefits too, which he will be aware of if he is planning on doing it.

Both me and dh are self employed and wouldn't swop it, even though we miss out on some stuff.

Ellypoo Wed 22-Jul-15 16:56:40

He can take his 13 weeks at the same time as you - you HAVE to take the first 2 weeks by law, then you can split the other 50 weeks between you, which can be at the same time, but you do have to remain employed during the full period of shared parental leave.
The government have no remit over enhanced maternity/paternity/shared parental pay as it is down to individual employers, and as this is still so new, there is no case law or probably not even a company policy in place yet, but I don't see why your partner taking ShPL at the same time as you should have any impact whatsoever on your enhanced pay at all.

Wrt stat pay, there will still only be 39 weeks of stat shared parental leave between the two parents, even if the whole 52 weeks is taken - as is currently the case with SMP.

CityDweller Wed 22-Jul-15 16:56:57

Jaysus - he's not 'quitting work'! He's going freelance. And that's the date it's happening, baby or no baby... The two things are disconnected.

woowoo22 Wed 22-Jul-15 17:03:42


Spartans Wed 22-Jul-15 17:10:39

Yes but he is leaving his place of employment?

So he is quitting his job? I'm which case he isn't entitled to his leave which from what I can gather will start 23 weeks after he leaves his employed job?

Is there a reason he can't hang on?

Does he get the 13 weeks if he isn't working there? I thought he had to be employed at the time he is taking it? If he leaves when baby is 3 weeks, will he only get 3 weeks spp?

DadfromUncle Wed 22-Jul-15 18:11:31

YANBU, although it is capable of being understood. It's fairly simple if one thinks about the minimum legal provisions - the trouble is that some employers offer an enhanced package above the (not especially generous but better than some countries) legal minimum Maternity paid leave package.

The new rules don't come with any obligation on an employer to offer the Mother's package to the father (or adoptive parent) if they choose to share (actually swap really) and so as alluded to above, there's no case law yet.

If and when someone challenges that, we'll know more - but it is a minefield if you think about it - unless they work for the same company at a similar level, getting the employer's paid Maternity (shared parental) leave could be massively advantageous for one or the other parent - it would also be seriously odd if an organisation was obliged to give paid leave to someone who wasn't an employee. As it is, the effects are "cost neutral" up to a point as each parents' employer bears the costs , which are no different.

DadfromUncle Wed 22-Jul-15 18:12:41

Your DH won't be able to take the first 13 weeks of SPL. You have to take the first two weeks: it's compulsory.

<HR/Payroll anorak> 4 weeks if a factory worker </anorak>

CityDweller Wed 22-Jul-15 19:36:27

I'm not imagining DH would get my enhanced mat pay. I'd just like him to be able to get my unused stat pay, seeing as he'll be looking after DC once I go back to work. But the upshot is that because by then he'll be a freelancer he isn't entitled to it.

The policy is confusing though- even the ACAS website says so! All that stuff about the three stages of notifying your employer, etc. Also there is stuff in there about getting it if one of you isn't employed (statuary shared parental pay, I think it's called), but I don't think it applies to us (but would do if situation was reversed and I quit my job after DH had taken over looking after DC - I think... It really isn't clear at all)

Amummyatlast Wed 22-Jul-15 20:33:59

If your DH goes freelance, you would still qualify for shared parental leave (SPL), but yor DH wouldn't. For you to take SPL, you, as the mum, have to end your maternity leave. At that point, whoever is taking the SPL is likely to be eligible for shared parental leave pay. But if your DH is freelance, he won't qualify for SPL, and so won't qualify for shared parental leave pay.

CityDweller Wed 22-Jul-15 23:01:52

But what's the benefit of me taking SPL if I have no one to share it with confused? Because I can take it in blocks, rather than all in one go??

songbird Wed 22-Jul-15 23:07:21

And from a purely practical point if view, how is he going to establish himself as a freelance if he has a baby to look after?!

DadfromUncle Wed 22-Jul-15 23:52:23

I think ACAS are trying to be helpful to employees and employers - try here and see if helps - step by step guide to what you can get -

Amummyatlast Thu 23-Jul-15 07:41:51

Yes, city, because you can take it in blocks if you wanted. It may not suit you, but that's the reasoning behind it.

fourtothedozen Thu 23-Jul-15 07:57:20

My OH would have been sacked if he tried to take parental leave.

CityDweller Thu 23-Jul-15 13:29:25

Not really relevant songbird.

And thanks Amummy - that's helpful clarification.

And wouldn't that be illegal four? As in, his job would be protected so long as he returned w/in 6 months?

fourtothedozen Thu 23-Jul-15 13:32:37

citydweller- in theory yes.
In practice the boss would find some way of getting rid of an employee or making their position so difficult that they would be forced to leave. All the long term employees were well aware of attitudes and would never dream of pushing for paternal leave or even taking a lunch break.

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