Shared parental leave (SPL) is a type of parental leave that allows birth parents and adoptive parents to share up to 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks pay between them. SPL may be taken in one go or in blocks separated by work. It may be taken consecutively by both partners or may be taken at the same time so both partners are off work together. Shared parental leave can be shared with only one person and must be taken in the first year after a child is born or placed with a family.

To be eligible, both partners must fulfil certain criteria relating to employment status, length of employment and amount of pay.

The crucial thing to note about SPL is that it requires the mother (or adopter) to end, or give notice to end, their maternity (or adoption) leave, in order for SPL to start.

The rules are complicated, but don’t worry: we have produced a fact sheet.


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Updates: For employers: Family rights and flexible working | For employees: Family rights and flexible working |

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  1. ACAS Early Conciliation
  2. Adoption appointments
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  4. Alternative dispute resolution
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  7. Basic award
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  9. Compensatory award
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  30. Polkey deduction
  31. Pre-termination negotiations
  32. Protected characteristics
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  34. Restrictive covenants
  35. Settlement agreement
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