Shared parental leave?

Poor take-up due to lack of financial support for dads

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Parental Leave | Advice & Guidance

Parental leave is for employees to take time off work to look after a child's welfare, this leave is normally unpaid, and is available for each child up to their 18th birthday.

Parental Leave should not be confused with Shared Parental Leave which is a new entitlement for eligible parents of children due to be born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015.

Key points Employees must have completed one year's continuous service with an employer to qualify. 18 weeks of unpaid leave can be taken up for children under 18 years. Leave may be taken straight after the birth or adoption or following a period of maternity leave. Employees will need to request leave giving at least 21 days notice before the intended start date. Employers may ask for the notice to be in writing. If an employee has completed one year's continuous service with an employer, they are entitled to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave for each child born or adopted. The leave can start once the child is born or placed for adoption, or as soon as the employee has completed a year's service, whichever is later. Employees can take it at any time up to the child's 18th birthday.

A request should be made to an employer giving 21 days notice of the start date of the parental leave, the employer may ask for this to be in writing. As long as the employee qualifies for parental leave and gives the employer the correct notice the employee should be able to take parental leave at any time.

Parental leave should be taken in blocks of a week or multiples of a week, and should not be taken as "odd" days off, unless the employer agrees otherwise or the child is disabled. Employees cannot take off more than four weeks during a year per child. A week is based on an employees working pattern.

An employee will remain employed while on parental leave and some terms of the contract, such as contractual notice and redundancy terms, still apply.

Reforms - Shared Parental Leave Shared Parental Leave is a new right that will enable eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share time off work after their child is born or placed. This could mean that the mother or adopter shares some of the leave with her partner, perhaps returning to work for part of the time and then resuming leave at a later date.

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New government campaign sets out to increase take up of shared parental leave - Workplace Insight

A new government campaigned launched today encourages more parents to take up the offer of Shared Parental Leave in their child's first year. The workplace right for eligible parents allows them to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. They can take time off separately or they can be at home together for up to 6 months. Around 285,000 couples every year are eligible but take up could be as low as 2 percent, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and around half of the general public are unaware that the option exists for parents.

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