Shared Parental Leave

New parents will now be able to share paternity leave thanks to new regulations that came into force on 5th April 2015. Are you curious as to how will this affect your business?

What are the key changes?

The regulations has created greater flexibility for new parents. They are still entitled to take up to 50 weeks of leave (with 37 weeks paid). However, they can now choose to take their leave separately or they can take it together.

Who is eligible for shared leave?

To be eligible for shared leave, one parent must have been an employee at the same business for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due.

The other parent must meet the employment and earnings test – they must have worked 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to the due date and have earned above £30 a week in 13 of those weeks.

A business perspective

Many employer groups have criticised the added complexity this has brought to maternity leave, whilst TUC has argued that the new stipulations will mean many parents will miss out on the opportunity to take up shared parental leave. It’s being predicted that 2 in 5 fathers would miss out.

The Institute of Directors has branded the new regulations as a “nightmare” that will “heap yet more burdens on struggling employers.”

Alexander Ehmann, the deputy director of policy has said,

“The proposed system is considerably more complex and unwieldy than the current laws and employers will – once again – have to absorb the cost of adapting and implementing this new system.”

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