Shared parental leave regulations now in force

Posted on 8 Apr 2015 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Parents in work can now share responsibility for looking after their newborn or newly adopted child as Shared Parental Leave law became effective from Sunday (5 April 2015).

Eligible couples whose child is due on or after Sunday 5 April can now share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay in the first year of their child’s life.

Couples who adopt a child can share the same benefits as parents to the first year of the child’s adoption.

Parents can take the time off at the same time as each other or separately.

An estimated 285,000 couples a year will be able to take advantage of this change in the law.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson commented: “The new Shared Parental Leave rules will give real choice to parents.

“We all know that every family has its own unique set of circumstances, and Shared Parental Leave reflects that reality.”

“Up until now, families have had very limited options when it comes to juggling the demands of work with the arrival of a new baby.”

“The old maternity leave system reinforced the archaic assumptions that the bulk of childcare responsibilities should be done by mums, and failed to recognise the vitally important role that dads and partners have to play.”

“Mothers and adopters will be able to choose when they return to work and fathers and partners will be able to spend more time bonding with their children during the precious early stages of their development.”