Shared parental leave: draft regulations published
By Vinita Arora
The government has published draft regulations that will implement a new system of shared parental leave to supplement the current maternity, adoption and paternity leave schemes with effect from April 2015. The shared parental leave scheme will be extremely complex. Employers will need to put new policies in place well in advance of the implementation date.
There are three sets of regulations, the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 (‘Leave Regulations’), the Statutory Shared Parental Pay (General) Regulations 2014 (‘Pay Regulations’) and the Maternity and Adoption Leave (Curtailment of Statutory Rights to Leave) Regulations 2014 (‘Curtailment Regulations’).
In respect of babies with an expected week of childbirth (EWC) beginning on or after 5 April 2015, parents will be able to choose what type of leave to take. Mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and fathers will still be entitled to two weeks’ ordinary paternity leave. However, if both parents fulfil the eligibility criteria, the parents will be able to give notice to opt to cut short statutory maternity leave and instead take shared parental leave. Eligible employees will be entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks’ leave and 39 weeks’ statutory pay upon the birth or adoption of a child, which can be shared between the parents either concurrently or separately. In order to qualify for shared parental leave, the mother must: have 26 weeks’ service; have main responsibility for the care of the child (apart from any responsibility of the father’s); have curtailed her statutory maternity leave; and comply with the notice requirements…
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