Maternity, Paternity and Parental leave and pay regulations have never been the easiest aspect of employment law to understand and implement. The complexity increased with the implementation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay Regulations 2014.
What are the Shared Parental Leave and Pay Regulations 2014?
The Shared Parental Leave and Pay Regulations 2014 allow couples more flexibility in deciding how they will structure childcare upon the arrival of their baby. In situations where a couple meets the eligibility criteria, the mother is able to end her Maternity Leave early and, along with her partner or the child’s father, opt for Shared Parental Leave.
Shared Parental Leave means that both partners can take leave at the same time so as to spend time as a family, one partner can return to work whilst the other takes leave, or parents can take leave in blocks.
The regulations applied to all parents with babies due on or after 5th April 2015 so you need to ensure that your policies and processes to support the change.
What about the current Maternity and Paternity Leave regulations?
There are some things that remained unchanged.
- Employed mothers continue to be entitled to 52 weeks of Maternity Leave and 39 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay.
- Fathers continue to be able to choose to just take Ordinary Paternity Leave of 2 weeks but are no longer able to take Additional Paternity Leave as this is replaced by Shared Parental Leave.
What do you need to do?
There are some steps that every business needs to take to make sure this change hasn’t passed them by and get their policies up-to-date:
- Understand the qualifying criteria for Shared Parental Leave and Pay (it is as complicated as Maternity Leave and Pay), and the process that you need to follow if you receive a request for Shared Parental Leave.
- Establish a Shared Parental Leave policy.
- Update your Maternity and Paternity Leave policies so that they link to the Shared Parental Leave Policy.
We can help
We have an off-the-shelf Shared Parental Leave and Pay Policy that you can purchase. You can add this policy to your existing employee handbook. To purchase the policy please complete our form and we’ll be in touch.
Given that you need to take action regarding the Shared Parental Leave and Pay Regulations, you may decide to use this as an opportunity to conduct an update of your employee handbook.
We offer a complimentary employee handbook review service which will provide you with a report detailing some of the areas that you might like to consider revising. To take advantage of this complimentary service, please complete our form and we’ll be in touch.