Parents can share up to 50 weeks of parental leave and 37 weeks' statutory pay, equivalent to the current Statutory Maternity and Paternity Pay. This is in addition to the two weeks' Statutory Paternity Pay.
Mothers will still have to take an initial two weeks' maternity leave after the birth, during which they will receive Statutory Maternity Pay. After this, either:
*the mother will be able to take 50 weeks' maternity leave and receive a further 37 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay; or
*the mother can go back to work after two weeks, the father can take 50 weeks' shared parental leave and the 37 outstanding weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay can be paid to the father; or
*the mother and father can share the 50 weeks' leave and the 37 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay between them.
* Parents will be able to take leave at the same time.
Parents taking shared parental leave will retain employment rights, such as pay rises and holidays.
Anyone taking parental leave of up to 26 weeks will be entitled to return to their job. If the leave period is more than 26 weeks, they must be offered the same job or a similar one.
Entitlement to shared parental leave:
To be eligible for shared parental leave, both parents need to have 26 weeks' service with their employer by the beginning of the 15th week before the baby is due.
Both parents also need to be employed by this same employer until their shared parental leave begins.
What will I have to tell my employer?
You must give your employer non-binding notice of your intention to take shared parental leave.
Mothers who, prior to the birth, give binding notice of their intention to take shared parental leave will have the right to revoke the notice up to six weeks following the birth, so that they can remain on maternity leave.
You must give your employer eight weeks' formal notice of any leave that you will actually be taking, which will need to include:
*the names and National Insurance numbers of both the father (or the mother's partner) and the mother
*the total maternity leave and maternity pay or allowance that the mother has taken.
You will be able to change your plans up to two times during your leave.
More information is available here.