19 September 2014: Shared Parental Leave from the 5th April 2015: Currently fathers can take Additional Paternity Leave and Pay – for between 2 and 26 weeks at £138.18 pw, to start 20 weeks after the birth or adoption.
Parents of babies due from the 5th April 2014 will be able to take Shared Parental Leave. For example a mother could end her maternity leave after 12 weeks, leaving 40 weeks (of the total 52 week entitlement) available for the father to take as Shared Parental Leave. If eligible, the mother and father can share the 40 weeks and take the leave at the same time . Employees can take SPL in up to 3 separate blocks.
SPL must be taken in complete weeks and can either be taken in a continuous period, which an employer cannot refuse, or in a discontinuous period, which the employer may be able to refuse.
To be eligible an employee must have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service at the end of the 15th week before the expected week of birth. The other parent must have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks prior to the expected date of birth and have earned a minimum of £30 in 13 of these 66 weeks. Read more at Gov.UK Employer Guide
Ante-natal appointments: Meanwhile,from 1 October 2014 partners of expectant mothers will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to attend antenatal appointments with their partner. See the government Guide for Employers.
Whether Prince William and the expecting Princess Kate take advantage of these new changes remains to be seen…..
Reculver Solicitors is a firm of solicitors specialising in Employment Law and based in London WC1 (Holborn, just by Chancery Lane Tube). We advise on all aspects of employment law including maternity leave, sex discrimination, redundancy, unfair dismissal, settlement agreements and much more