How you and your partner can enjoy the flexibility of shared parental leave, while ensuring you and your employer meet all the rules

  • Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015 to allow partners greater freedom in how they share leave to look after their new baby or adopted child.
  • Although it gives you more flexibility in which of you has time off and when, there are several rules you need to comply with, including how you give your employer notice when you are taking leave.
  • We recommend you talk to us first if you’re considering shared parental leave, so we can explain it fully and ensure you enjoy time off with your child, without problems.

The idea of shared parental leave is to allow parents to share their statutory leave periods to look after their new child, whether they both take leave together or take it in turns to have time off work.

The leave can be taken over just one period or in separate periods, although you will have to give your employer notice in advance.

Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015, and as well as couples bringing up their own baby, it also applies to couples adopting a child. Your employers are obliged to honour your right to shared parental leave, as long as you apply for leave correctly and comply with the rules. HMRC will also want to know your leave and pay arrangements during shared parental leave.

Although shared parental leave offers more flexibility about which of you works and when, as you bring up your child together, the rules about who is eligible, paid leave and notice periods for taking leave are complex.

If this is something which you and your partner are considering, we recommend you contact us first. We’ll be happy to explain what you’re entitled to, and how to ensure you, your partner and your employers are meeting your legal obligations.

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