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Shared Parental Leave – Are you ready?

Last week marks the beginning of a new legal entitlement for parents who wish to take advantage of additional flexibility when it comes to caring for their newborn child during the first year. Whilst previous legislation around supporting parents with new arrivals was relatively simple, the new Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is understandably more complex. Whether it’s the eligibility criteria, the process of notification or the new Shared Paternity Pay (ShPP), this article provides insight but for more information or advice please see our contact details below.


What is SPL?

SPL is enabling parents to share / take the main caring responsibility for children in their first year, depending on their own preferences and circumstances. This is opportunity for employers to offer more flexible working for employees, which can only help to support a work-life balance and increase employee engagement.

Parents are still entitled to take maternity, paternity and adoption leave. However, now an eligible mother or adopter can choose to reduce their maternity/adoption leave early, and opt in to SPL.

Whilst Employers are under no legal obligation to respond to SPL leave notifications, it is not good practice to fail to respond to a leave notification. If no response is made to a continuous leave notification by the employer, the employee has the right to take the leave as outlined in their notification! Don’t get caught out!

Top tip:

Having early conversations regarding employees leave intentions, being clear around entitlement, and employees arrangements will allow the business to plan in advance.


Employers need to meet the statutory requirements in the new legislation with regards to SPL. Employers should also ensure employees know how to apply for SPL. Therefore best practice is to have a SPL policy in place where all information can be easily accessed.

To request a SPL policy for your organisation, or to discuss any questions you may have about the new legislation or to discuss any other HR support requirements please get in touch with a member of the team who will be happy to help 01506 237753.

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