Prospective parents can submit applications for shared parental leave from today (Monday 1 December).
Anyone whose child is due on or after 5 April 2015 will be eligible for the new benefit, which means parents are able to split 52 weeks of parental leave evenly if they wish. The leave can be taken in up to three separate blocks.
The key elements of the new regime are as follows:
- When opting in to the ShPL system, employees will need to give a non-binding indication at the outset of when they expect to take the leave.
- Employees will be required to give 8 weeks notice to take specific periods of leave, or to change a previous notification. There will be cap of 3 on such notifications unless both employer and employee agree by mutual consent that a request will not count towards the cap. This means employees will be able to take a maximum of 3 blocks of leave unless an institution agrees to more.
- Parents will be able to have up to 20 ‘keeping in touch’ days at work per parent whilst on ShPL.
- Employees who take ShPL will have the right to return to the same job when returning from periods of statutory leave that totals 26 weeks or less in aggregate, even if the leave is taken in discontinuous blocks.
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