Wednesday 22 April 2015

Shared Parental Leave Everything You Need To Know

From 5th April 2015 Shared Parental Leave went live for those people whose baby is due on or after 5th April 2015 and this includes adopted children, as with the majority of parental legislation.

Last day at the office before maternity leave.

Despite not working since Summer 2012, I have a huge interest in this area, not just as a mother, but also as a professional as I was a HR (Human Resources) Manager for the last 6 years of my career, and began my time in the HR sector 2 years before that (all of those years in a Head Office environment).

Although to be honest, as I went straight into Retail Management from University every single position I ever had involved HR, as it always does when you are a line manager. 

Yes, this can be to a lesser or greater degree depending on how competent and independent you want to be in your role, but in the blue chip companies I worked in, we were encouraged to know our stuff. 

However in a retail environment this meant knowing current stuff which Shared Parental Leave now is, but in my last few Head Office roles, I had to research forthcoming legislation changes often looking 3-10 years ahead, so I have known about Shared Parental Leave for a very long time.

Reading up on it now, to refresh my knowledge, the thing that grabs me, about how it has been launched (post consultation) is how the leave can be taken in blocks. That will appeal to a lot of people. 

You can book up to 3 separate blocks of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) instead of taking it all in one go, even if you aren’t sharing the leave with your partner. 
If your partner is also eligible for SPL, you can take up to 3 blocks of leave each. You can take leave at different times or both at the same time. 
Interestingly SPL does not replace maternity leave; it starts once maternity leave has finished, and the 2 weeks compulsory maternity leave that was in place still stands. As that 2 weeks must be post birth it is added to any maternity (or adoption) leave that you take before you are due. Confused yet? I'm used to the technicalities surrounding this, as in my second from last job I actually spent 6 months writing the company's Working Family Guide, but if these kind of rules wrap you up in knots, see the infographic below.

If you are not used to reading employment legislation it can be a tad confusing to get your head around it. When it applies to you, when to notify your employer etc... etc... so it is marvellous that GoToMeeting have produced this fabulous Infographic below. To see it in all its glory and to read the full article go to: Shared Parental Leave Everything You Neeed to Know 
I do remember feeling devastated when Daddy's paternity leave of 2 weeks came to an end, and I did get post natal depression, so this kind of flexibility would probably have worked really well for us as a family.

What do you think? If you are pregnant will you be making use of it? Is it just the ticket for your family?

All the best,
Liska xx


  1. It is in my view a step in the right direction but I don't expect take-up to be massive and that it will vary in different communities of interest. I think we need a huge cultural shift so that parents male and female can benefit fully from work and parenting joys. We have a long way to go. My circumstances varied a lot with each of my 3 children born 2000-2005. I certainly feel if my OH had being able to take leave he may have spotted my post-natal depression early on and that last 10 years would as a result have been better for all of us. I did employment law at college - very interesting and yes good to know if you are in any type of management role and for your own interests too as an employee

  2. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have help at home. My ex-h never took any time off for the first one and he'd been kicked out by the time the second one actually came so I did it all alone. I think all mothers need to be mothered and if the partner can do it - all the better XX


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