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Shared Parental Leave

(9 Posts)
MrsJW15 Wed 16-Nov-16 10:12:52

Hello, can anyone help with a Q on shared parental leave. I can't quite figure it out...

I'm intending to take 8-9 months of leave. Can my husband take his three months (so we add up to 12 in total) just after the baby is born so we are both on leave at the same time? Is he still entitled to statutory pay (I get 20 weeks full pay from work) assuming that we don't go over 52 weeks in total?

It's so confusing, but it would be nice to be off for a long period together.

TeaBelle Wed 16-Nov-16 10:17:38

No, it has to be taken sequentially, not side by side. No idea how anyone keeps a check on it though

DowntonDiva Wed 16-Nov-16 10:20:35

Self employed no, you sign your SMP over to DP when you return to work.

Employed? Not sure have to check both employer rules. But suspect employed element will only cover SMP in which case same as above.

MrsJW15 Wed 16-Nov-16 10:32:17

Thanks - we are both employed (not at the same place). I keep finding conflicting guidance online!

tangoandcreditcards Wed 16-Nov-16 10:34:12

No, it doesn't have to be taken sequentially.

See the example here www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay-employer-guide/starting-shared-parental-leave - the couple in question overlap by 6 weeks. The important thing is that you have given your employer BINDING notice of your return date (so your DH's employer can take the balance of the leave).

Whether or not DH gets paid for any of his SPL will depend on his company's policy - but I would assume that as it is the balance of 39-52 weeks, say (even if he takes it in weeks 1-13) - then there won't be any statutory or company pay. Only one of you can get the statutory pay.

My DP is now SAHD, but he was made redundant late in my first pregnancy and, despite initial money worries, having him at home in mat leave is really the best.

MrsJW15 Wed 16-Nov-16 10:49:01

Thanks Tango it would be really great to have him at home for the first few months. He also works really crazy hours, so I worry about him not having much time with the baby. I think we can just about manage for a couple of months if he has no pay, but it's not ideal.

MadsZero Wed 16-Nov-16 17:03:08

Just for info, the reason some people gave you incorrect information about it needing to be taken sequentially is because that was true until very recently. "Additional Paternity Leave" I think was the name of the old benefit. The new benefit came in last year, I think.

The easiest way to think about it is to think about your statutory maternity leave - you can have up to 52 weeks off, but only 39 of them will be paid, right?

So split that into two components - unpaid leave (52 weeks) and paid leave (39 weeks). What Shared Parental Leave lets you do is give "binding notice" to return to work, and then turn any unclaimed weeks of unpaid leave into a pot of leave that either you, or your husband, can take at any point during the child's first year. You can take it in up to four blocks (though you have to give quite a bit of notice).

Shared Parental Pay is the same thing, except it deals with the paid leave aspect.

So, let's say you give your work binding notice to return after 34 weeks. You can then create a pot of 5 weeks of paid leave and 18 weeks of unpaid leave. You can use this between the two of you as you see fit across the child's first year. Perhaps your husband will take 10 weeks off, with 5 of those being paid right after your baby's birth. He could then also take another 8 weeks unpaid after you go back to work to ease the transition.

Does that make sense?

As to eligibility, to take either Shared Parental Pay or Shared Parental Leave, both parents have to meet an earnings threshold. For the unpaid leave, it's really, really low. It's something like having earned at least £30 per week over the last year, and I don't think you even need to be earning that consistently. I think you only have to have earned that over 13 of those weeks.

Shared Parental Pay is a higher threshold. You need to be earning an average of £112 (I think? It's close to this number) per week to be eligible and they work that out based on average earnings over an 8 week period that ends about four months before your due date. Again, apologies I don't recall the exact specifics, so if you are borderline for earning that much, you'll want to check the government website.

If you DO earn that much, then Shared Parental Pay is paid at the same rate as statutory maternity pay - i.e. about £140 or 90% of average earnings, whichever is lowest.

Hope that helps.

MrsJW15 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:19:18

MadsZero thank you so much, that does make sense, and it sounds like it is doable! We do both earn over the threshold. It would be wonderful if we could make this happen!

LondonGirl83 Wed 16-Nov-16 22:02:26

Mad Zero is 100% right. My DH and I have just finished the paperwork for all of this as I am due in Feb and he is taking SPL. You can absolutely take leave simultaneously. My husband will be taking the first 15 weeks off with me.

Between the two of you, you can get 39 weeks of statutory pay (either shared parental pay or a combination of maternity pay and shared parental pay). You simply have to indicate on the paper work how you are splitting up the 39 weeks of statutory pay. You can in combination take 52 weeks leave but last 13 weeks will not have any statutory pay entitlement.

Both DH and I have company policies that pay more than statutory and we will both be on full pay for the entire time we are on leave.

One point to consider is that you as the mother can either stay on maternity leave or opt into SPL after the two weeks of mandatory maternity leave. Maternity leave has some additional legal protections so unless you want take advantage of using blocks of leave, its probably better for you to be on maternity leave.

It was really tough to figure out so PM if you have any questions as I found our HR teams quite useless

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