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Wednesday, 08 April 2015 14:24

Shared Parental Leave Has Arrived

Shared Parental Leave is now upon us. Whether you are an Employee or Employer it is now important to know how this new Statutory Right, which came into force on 5th April 2015 effects you.

What does SPL mean?

Simply if Employees are eligible for maternity or adoption leave, then if they now adopt or have a baby born on or after 5th April 2015 then parents can opt to take leave in 3 separates blocks to look after their child, rather than the mother taking it in one single go and the father having a couple weeks of paternity leave.
So new parents, if you are due to have shared responsibility for a child with your husband, wife, joint adopter or civil partner (or partner you live with) and you have been continuously employed by the same employer for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th weeks  before the due date you may be entitled to SPL as long as your partner can fulfil the 66 week employed criteria along with earning at least £390 for at least 13 of those 66 weeks then you would be entitled to SPL

What are these Blocks of leave?
If eligible you can book up to 3 blocks of leave.
If your partner is eligible they can also book up to 3 blocks of leave at the same time or at different times to you.  You must give your employer at least 8 weeks notice.

Dawsons Law Comment
For Employees this gives the flexibility to share or jointly care for a new child of the family. SPL allows both parents to take an integral part in the upbringing of a new child to the family and allows support to be given to each parent by each parent in the first year of having a new child. SPL promotes family life if off course it is an affordable option for the family to take such time in a shared manner when the arrival appears.
For the Employer especially those in small business this policy is a policy where they are going to have to adhere to requests for blocks of leave from not only female but male employees also. Although 8 week notice must be given by the employee, this means that skills shortages could be present in small businesses for 3 blocks of set period of time. It is harder for small business to recruit to cover such leave especially of such business are in rural communities.
Employers now need to update there policies and procedures and become savvy to what exactly their Employee Rights really are. This could be a new sea change for business or maybe more of a roller-coaster ride for those unprepared.
For advice and guidance Salena Dawson 01953 883535

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