The new shared parental leave entitlement recently came in to force and this gives mothers, fathers, partners and adopters the right to decide how they wish to share the time that they have off from work once their child is born or placed for adoptions. What this could result in is the mother or the adopter sharing part of their leave with their partners, meaning that they could return to work on a part-time basis and then continue the rest of the leave at a later time.
What This Means For Parents
The idea behind this new entitlement is to give parents more control over the way they share the responsibilities that comes with having a child within the first year after the birth or adoption. This will give parents the opportunity to share a certain amount of leave which could result in them taking the same time of work or even alternating their leave so that they are both able to care for the child.
Making Claims in the Future
The new entitlement was introduced on the 1st December and is effective for those parents who will have a child born or adopted on or after the 5th April 2015. Mothers who are employed will have the right to take 52 weeks of maternity leave whilst they can also decide to cut short their maternity leave following the first two weeks which is classed as the recovery period.
Those parents who are working then have the option to share the remaining leave. There are also new rights for fathers who will now be able to take unpaid leave in order to attend two antenatal appointments. For those parents on shared parental leave there will be new statutory payment should they have the same qualifying requirements that are in place for statutory maternity and paternity pay. For those parents who have adopted a child, they will have the right to the same leave and pay as birth parents.