Do you need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay?

In the recent case of Price v Powys County Council, Mr Price brought a claim for sex discrimination against the council for failure to provide enhanced shared parental leave pay, although they provided enhanced pay to employees on maternity or adoption leave.

The Employment Tribunal considered the two aspects separately. The claim that Mr Price should be paid enhanced shared parental leave pay because female employees on maternity leave receive enhanced pay, was rejected.  This rejection was in accordance with the judgement from Capita Customer Management Ltd v Ali. In that case, the Court of Appeal addressed the question as to whether a male employee on shared parental leave should be entitled to the equivalent of enhanced maternity pay. 

The Court of Appeal found that that there was a significant difference between the purpose and requirements of maternity leave and shared parental leave and therefore found that a male employee on shared parental leave was not entitled to the enhanced rate that a female employee would receive whilst on maternity leave.

In the claim brought by Mr Price, the Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal focused on whether Mr Price could compare himself with a female employee on adoption leave.  The main argument put forward by Mr Price was that adoption leave and shared parental leave were similar as the purpose of the leave was to facilitate childcare.

The Tribunal and EAT found that there were significant differences between shared parental leave and adoption leave which were:

  • the ability to start adoption leave prior to the child being placed with the employee;
  • adoption leave is an immediate entitlement as soon as the child has been placed with the employee;
  • the requirement for the employee to obtain their partner’s agreement to end adoption leave so that they can commence shared parental leave; and
  • the ability to take shared parental leave in separate blocks whereas adoption leave must be taken in one continuous block.

Therefore, the EAT found that Mr Price could not be compared with a female employee on adoption leave and the correct comparator would have been a female employee on shared parental leave. As a female employee on shared parental leave would have been entitled to the same pay as Mr Price there was not any discriminatory treatment.

This is once again good news for employers.

If you have any queries in relation to the above or require advice on any other employment law related issue please contact the Employment team at Downs Solicitors.

More blog posts from this author

Do you need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay?

When shared parental leave was introduced in 2015, one of the concerns was whether an employer would need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay if the employer provided enhanced adoption and/or maternity leave pay.

Domestic Abuse in the Workplace

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy undertook a report into domestic abuse and the workplace. The report identified that the number of domestic abuse cases had increased during the pandemic and that 1 in 5 victims of domestic abuse had time off work. Sadly, research found that few employers were able to identify the signs of domestic abuse and/or had policies or procedures available to help support survivors.

Coronavirus and Sick Pay

As new variants of the coronavirus are emerging and the pandemic continues, employees will continue to take sick leave due to testing positive for the coronavirus and/or being required to self-isolate.

More blog posts from this sector

What are restrictive covenants and why do I need them?

I own a start-up which grew very quickly and a few years ago I hired in a couple of senior personnel to help run the business. After 5 years, one of these senior hires is now leaving the business and going to a company which isn’t a direct competitor but operates in a very similar field.

Do you need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay?

When shared parental leave was introduced in 2015, one of the concerns was whether an employer would need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay if the employer provided enhanced adoption and/or maternity leave pay.

Domestic Abuse in the Workplace

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy undertook a report into domestic abuse and the workplace. The report identified that the number of domestic abuse cases had increased during the pandemic and that 1 in 5 victims of domestic abuse had time off work. Sadly, research found that few employers were able to identify the signs of domestic abuse and/or had policies or procedures available to help support survivors.

Our Team

Meet all of the team at Downslaw


Cobham

15A High Street
Cobham
Surrey
KT11 3DH

T: 01932 589599
F: 01932 505087

DX: 46102 COBHAM

Dorking

156 High Street
Dorking
Surrey
RH4 1BQ

T: 01306 880110
F: 01306 471230

DX: 57300 DORKING

Godalming

The Tanners
75 Meadrow
Godalming
Surrey
GU7 3HS

T: 01483 861848
F: 01483 431965

DX: 58308 GODALMING 1