Shared parental leave has now come into effect as of 5th April. Parents in work can now share the responsibility of taking care of their newborn or newly adopted child.

Couples due on 5th April or after are eligible to apply for shared parental leave. They can share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay within the first year of their child’s life.  Couples who adopt can share the same benefits within the first year of their adoption.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg believes shared parental leave would give men the right to be more hands-on dads and stop women feeling like they have to make a choice between their careers and being a mother.

Nick Clegg says:

“For too long, mums have been told their place is at home with their child, while dads return to work. I want parents to choose for themselves how to balance work and family.”

Parents will be able to choose to either take time off at the same time or separately. Around 285,000 couples a year will now be able to take advantage of the new change in the law.

How it works:

  • Couples due or adopting on or after 5th April are eligible
  • Share parental leave (SPL) can be used in blocks rather than all in one go
  • The mother must end her maternity leave or pay in order for her partner to be eligible for SPL
  • If you are adopting you or your partner must end adoption leave or pay early
  • If eligible you can take the remaining leave as SPL