Shared parental leave and pay legislation kicks in in Spring 2015 and employers will need to be quick off the mark to have the necessary procedures and processes in place in time to manage questions and requests from employees.
From then, Mothers will be able to convert the non-statutory elements of their maternity leave and pay into shared parental leave and pay that either parent/spouse/common-law partner will be able to take in chunks spread out over 52 weeks. Adoption leave and pay can also be converted in the same way. Of particular interest to employees may be that both parents will be able to take paid, shared parental leave at the same time.
The key date is 5th April 2015, as parents of babies due on or after will be able to use this new facility, and it’s the same key date for parents of children who are matched or placed for adoption.
Which doesn’t leave much time now before you start getting questions about parental leave and pay and even receiving requests to take the leave and share the pay.
Be warned – the procedures of the new legislation are complex and you will probably need time in a room with a wet towel over your head to understand them, particularly the subtleties of eligibility for shared parental pay. Nonetheless, it would be a wise employer who gives some thought now as to how to manage it in their organisation, as time is ticking away.
So, are you ready for shared parental leave?
Helen Skepper – Research and Communications Advisor
Su Allen HR