Shared Parental Leave

Author: David Seals

Shared Parental Leave (“SPL”) is a brand new employment right from April 2015 which allows working parents to share statutory leave and pay on the birth or adoption of a child.

Its introduction implements the Coalition Government’s commitment to put in place a more flexible system of statutory leave and pay for working parents.

The current system of rights includes additional paternity leave (“APL”) and pay which allows fathers to take up to 6 months leave to care for a child but APL has been very unpopular. There are various reasons for this. These are partly economic (few employers offer enhanced pay during APL) and partly cultural. A major drawback with the APL scheme is that it requires the mother to return to work and give up her right to further leave in order for the partner to take APL.

The new system of shared parental leave is much more flexible allowing parents to take leave in continuous or discontinuous blocks, separately or at the same time and to make up to 3 requests for leave or changes to leave.

Existing family-friendly employment rights (and related April 2015 changes)

Shared Parental Leave and Pay – the new employment right

If you have any queries about the issues dealt with in these notes or on any employment related legal issues, please contact David Seals, by or telephone:01306 502218 or your usual Downs employment contact.

To print a copy of this Guide for Employers on Shared Parental leave, click here

David Seals

David Seals


Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502218

Office: Dorking Office