The Government published the draft Regulations for Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay on 5 March 2014 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shared-parental-leave-and-pay-draft-legislation) and is now seeking input via an informal open consultation by Tuesday 18 March 2013. We are informed that after this date the Government will make any revisions to the Regulations and it is envisaged the next drafts published will be the final version.
The Morrisons Employment team will be including an overview of these Regulations in their forthcoming seminar on 13 March 2014. A few places may be available. Please book via [email protected]
The Regulations allow qualifying new parents to take Shared Parental Leave between them and receive Statutory Shared Parental Pay from their employers. The draft Regulations are extremely lengthy and complex and detailed but, in the current form, key points include:
1. The first two weeks of Compulsory Maternity Leave will remain, but up to 50 weeks’ thereafter minus any other maternity leave taken, can be taken as SPL and up to 37 weeks’ SSPP (minus SMP) can be shared between eligible parents.
2. Both parents must give 8 weeks’ notice of taking SPL which includes a 2 week discussion period with their respective employers. They must also comply with other obligations to provide information, certain declarations and evidence that can be requested by the relevant employer. These provisions are extremely complicated for employers.
3. Under the Regulations parents will not be able to give more than three notifications to the employer of taking or changing the dates of leave; although employers can agree to accept more than three notifications.
4. Employers may agree to discontinuous SPL in blocks of not less than a week, but do not have to do so, in which case an employee will need to take one continuous period of leave or withdraw their application.
5. The Regulations allow each parent on SPL to carry out work without bringing the SPL to an end, in up to 20 ‘KIT-style’ days. It seems that this entitlement is to include any KIT days worked during statutory maternity leave.
6. Employees will be entitled to return to the same job providing the total aggregate period of leave taken does not exceed 26 weeks, after which and where combined with other leave, if not reasonably practicable to go back to that job they will return to another suitable and appropriate job.
The Regulations are due to come into force on 1 October 2014 and will apply to children whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5 April 2015 or who are matched or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015.
For further information on the above changes please contact [email protected]