Search seminars lead the way in shared parental leave.
At our recent Search seminars series we teamed up with an employment law expert to share our knowledge on the upcoming introduction of shared parental leave.
The sessions were aimed at helping board directors, operational leaders, line managers with people responsibility and HR teams stay on top of critical legislative changes. Around 180 firms across Manchester, Crawley, Leicester, Leeds and Liverpool attended these events designed to highlight the main challenges arising from the changes in shared parental leave (SPL).
The seminars covered pay requests and entitlements relating to shared parental leave and focused on answering the following key questions:
Who is entitled to shared parental leave?
When the new legislative changes come into affect not only will eligible mothers and fathers be entitled to leave, but so too will eligible spouses, civil partners or partners – i.e. anyone who is in an ‘enduring relationship’ with the child’s mother.
Grandparents or other carers will not be entitled to apply for SPL.
How much leave can be taken/shared?
With the new parental leave 52 weeks are available. However, the first two weeks are compulsory for the mother. Therefore, a total of 50 weeks can be shared between two people i.e. the mother and father, or her spouse, civil partner or partner.
All leave must be taken within 52 weeks of the birth.
How is this leave structured?
Leave can be taken either consecutively or concurrently, so each entitled partner can either be off at the same time or one after the other. However, the total time taken cannot exceed 52 weeks. This must also been taken in minimum blocks of one week.
The leave can be taken either continuously or discontinuously, for example a mother could choose to be off for a full nine months with her partner taking three at the end. Or, they could choose to take a specified period of time off, return to work for a duration of time and then choose to take more time off.
When does this come into affect?
The new legislation is effective as of 5th April 2015. However, this is based on the child’s due date, not birth date. This means that children born after 5th April but due 4th April, or before, won’t be eligible for shared parental leave.
Throughout this series of events we also ran a survey to gage business readiness and preparation for the forthcoming changes. Interestingly, we found that only 40% of those surveyed felt that they had adequate provisions already in place to handle requests for SPL, with only 35% expecting line managers to deal with these requests.
It was also discovered through this survey that while 40% currently provide enhanced maternity pay, only 24% of those asked intend to offer enhanced shared parental leave.
Search can help you plan temporary cover for period of both continuous and discontinuous leave and advise you on the best course of action to take. Contact us today for more information.
Please note, the summary above has been prepared for information purposes only and is not a substitute for independent legal advice.