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Shared Parental Leave is making my brain hurt

(23 Posts)
rosettesforjill Tue 12-Feb-19 15:51:07

Why does it have to be so complicated?! Not sure my HR department have it right or not - they're freely admitting they can't understand it either...

What I would like to happen is for my husband to take his two weeks paternity then four weeks shared leave immediately following the birth of the baby.

As I understand it (and as DH's HR understand it), this means I finish my statutory maternity leave early and then take the remainder of the time (13 weeks) as the shared bit at the end.

My HR reckon I need to take my shared parental leave section at the start, when my husband is taking his entitlement to the shared parental leave.

Who is right?! Can I take SML concurrently with DH's SPL?

Does any of this even make sense to anybody??

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 15:54:48

You can both be off at the same time. You need to say you will cut short your maternity leave so that you have the free weeks to give to him. You can be off together or choose to take leave at different times

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 15:59:33

www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/shared-parental-leave-and-pay/ this may be helpful

rosettesforjill Tue 12-Feb-19 16:13:14

Thanks @dementedpixie. I understand we can both be off at the same time - it's just when the maternity leave and shared parental leave sections can be taken. I assumed I could take maternity leave while DH is on shared parental leave and then take my portion of shared parental leave at the end?

RicStar Tue 12-Feb-19 16:18:40

You can indeed be on maternity and dp/h be on sppl but you must return early in order to do this - so if he is taking a month- you must return at 11 months (latest) - you never have to take shared leave though - you can be on maternity the whole time.

spugzbunny Tue 12-Feb-19 16:24:00

I do t know the answer but I think what OP is asking is:

OP gets 90% pay for 6 weeks then 33 weeks at £140ish and then the remaining unpaid. Will take 11 months

Husband will take 2 weeks at statutory and 4 weeks at statutory shares leave.

OPs HR think she is therefore entitled to only 2 weeks at 90% on the assumption that husband will get 4 weeks at 90%.

Is that right OP?

RicStar Tue 12-Feb-19 16:27:44

If that is what OP is asking then OP's maternity pay is not impacted by what her dh does (as he is only taking a month).

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 16:28:03

OP would be better off staying on SMP due to the 90% part for 6 weeks. She is still entitled to that even if her dh is off as she is ending her leave early. OP doesn't have to go on shared pay at all and can stay on SMP

RicStar Tue 12-Feb-19 16:32:23

Yup what demented said. Dh pay will be determined by his employers shared leave policy. Op can stay on maternity pay / leave

rosettesforjill Tue 12-Feb-19 16:32:35

Thanks all. Yes, I think that is what I'm asking! I am planning to take 35 weeks maternity leave/pay and we will share the remaining 17 weeks 13/4.

RicStar Tue 12-Feb-19 16:45:26

Op you only need to take shared paternal leave if you wanted to take a bit of leave then dh take some then you take some again etc. As this is not what you intend you stay on maternity leave - assuming that your maternity pay is not worse than your employers shared leave pay (unlikely). Dh employer applies their sppl policy to his 4 weeks. I agree the way this works is not well understood and does not help take up.

rosettesforjill Tue 12-Feb-19 17:23:22

Oh no, I think I'm even more confused now 😂

DH is the main earner and gets his first six weeks of shared leave at full pay, and we want to take advantage of this. Does that make a difference?

rosettesforjill Tue 12-Feb-19 17:25:00

I'm an intelligent woman with a CIPD qualification - working in a specialist role at the moment and this isn't my area, but still, I think I should be able to get my head around this!

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 17:28:16

I don't think it should. You stay on maternity leave/ pay and he takes shared parental leave/ pay at the same time at whatever rate his employer pays it at. You are curtailing your leave to allow him the time off.
(Think that's correct anyway)

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 17:29:34

You aren't planning on having leave, going back to work and then taking leave again? You're just remaining on leave but cutting it short to allow him to use the leave?

rosettesforjill Tue 12-Feb-19 17:39:55

@dementedpixie yep, I'm taking 48 weeks in one block.

MrsPinkCock Tue 12-Feb-19 18:30:07

I think the reason this causes so much confusion is that the legislation itself was ambiguously drafted.

So according to the written legislation, you have to curtail your leave (as in cease being on ML) before you are allowed to allocate it as SPL. However, the government guidance (and its intention) was that both SPL and ML can be taken concurrently, as long as you have served at least 8 weeks NOTICE of curtailment.

The legal difficulty arises if a mother decides to revoke her notice of curtailment (in VERY limited circumstances) as the result would be that her DH has already taken leave that he wouldn’t be entitled to in the event of revoking the curtailment notice (which is how the legislation is drafted).

So whilst its widely accepted that they CAN be taken concurrently, I’m still not convinced the law actually permits it, so it’s difficult to argue. Your best argument is to rely on Regulation 7(5) of the SPL Regulations, which confirms (in a very roundabout way) that both periods of leave can be taken consecutively, whilst ignoring the contrasting Regulation 5(3) which says that you have to have curtailed your leave first!

Luxecalmeetvolupte Tue 12-Feb-19 20:26:31

It's literally that you stay on mat leave for 48 weeks and give him the 4 remaining weeks as SPL. But his weeks can be taken at the same time as yours. I didn't do it in the end for other reasons but did all the research to do this myself (we initially planned to take 3m concurrently). You just need to adhere to the notice periods for notifying, can't remember offhand but they'll be on the gov.uk information.

Jfw82 Tue 12-Feb-19 21:26:56

We actually did (are doing) this, my husband took 2 weeks SPL straight after his paternity leave. He is also taking a further 4 weeks shared parental at about week 40 (as I'm going back at 42 weeks so had up to 10 weeks to share)

I've had to sign forms to curtail my mat leave; first two weeks have to be mat leave. Pay wise I was better off under my works enhanced policy for first 6 weeks on mat leave as better pay than SPL. As it makes no odds after that I curtailed Mat leave at that point and switched to SPL. As I'm off more than 39 weeks I'm taking all the statutory SPL and in our case husbands work doesn't offer anything enhanced.

You can be on mat leave or SPL makes little difference if you're taking one block but you have to officially notify you are curtailing to confirm your husband has right to take it.

I was one of first at my work to do it so getting forms sorted took a while! (And then DH work uses my forms as template grin)

cricketmum84 Tue 12-Feb-19 21:36:39

You can't stay on maternity leave whilst your husband takes shared parental.

You must fill out a curtailment notice which basically ends your maternity leave. You then move onto shared parental and it's at this point that the leave can be shared. Once your husband has taken his 4 weeks then you continue on shared parental for the remainder of the weeks left from the combined maternity leave you have taken and the shared parental you both have taken.

For example

Mother on mat leave for 4 weeks
Father takes paternity leave for 2 weeks. At this point mother has been on maternity leave for 6 weeks.
Mother ends maternity leave and commences shared parental leave. Father wishes to take 4 weeks of this leave. Both paid as per their own company policies for this 4 week period
Father returns to work and mother continues shared parental leave for the remaining 23 weeks (6+4(father)+4(mother))

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 21:41:27

That's not true, she can stay on maternity leave/ pay as long as she had given notice to curtail her maternity leave

dementedpixie Tue 12-Feb-19 21:43:14

From the above link:
Do both parents need to take SPL?

No, the mother can stay on maternity leave/pay (or on Maternity Allowance), while the father/partner takes shared parental leave/pay. However, even if only one parent is going to take SPL e.g. the father/partner,both parents will need to meet the qualifying tests

cricketmum84 Tue 12-Feb-19 21:50:35

For ShPP to start
The mother (or the person getting adoption pay) must give their employer binding notice of the date when they plan to end any maternity or adoption pay.
If they get Maternity Allowance, they must give notice to Jobcentre Plus instead.
They cannot restart maternity pay, Maternity Allowance or adoption pay once it’s ended.
You can start ShPP while your partner is still on maternity pay, adoption pay or Maternity Allowance as long as they’ve given binding notice to end it.

From gov.uk website. I still think they could make it clearer though!!!

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