Posted September 26, 2016

Shared Parental leave… year on

Shared parental leave was implemented just over a year ago, but new figures show a conflicting picture. Depending on what statistics you look at take-up has been quoted at anything between 1% and 30%.

One thing that is clear, is that there is still a lack of knowledge, both from the employer and the employees on Shared Parental Leave.

At the moment, where employers offer enhanced maternity pay there is still no obligation to enhance Shared Parental Leave to match it. As you would expect, employers who do enhance their Shared Parental Leave to the same level as their maternity and adoption pay have seen an increase in take up.  But, is this increased take-up because the other partner’s employer does not offer as generous a package?  And is it something that in the long run could hinder your business as more and more of your employees opt to take-up your Shared Parental Leave policy?

For employers, utilising shared parental leave could mean managing with the existing employee coming in and out of the workforce and not having to recruit for a fixed term maternity cover.

With the option for the main carer to add 20 Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days to the current 10 Keeping in Touch days, a policy that is beneficial to both employer and employee is possible. It can also work well for the other parent with two weeks of paternity pay, several blocks of Shared Parental Leave and 20 SPLIT days, allowing them to spend valuable time with the new addition to the family without damaging their career prospects or compromising their financial security.

With the expectation that the government will look to allow grandparents to share the Shared Parental Leave, perhaps finally we will reach a stage where discrimination, whether intentional or not, against women in the workplace will end as, young or old, employees will be able to take leave to care for a new addition to the family.


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to amount to advice on which reliance should be placed. We therefore disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such information. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the above contents.