Shared parental leave and pay

By Tolley in association with Vince Ashall

The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Vince Ashall provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Shared parental leave and pay
  • Introduction to ShPL and ShPP
  • Employment and earnings test
  • Shared Parental Leave (ShPL)
  • Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)
  • Curtailing maternity / adoption leave
  • Taking ShPL
  • SPLIT Days
  • Complete weeks only
  • Treatment of pay rises

In a move to offer greater flexibility to parents after the birth or adoption of a child, the Government has introduced a new system called shared parental leave (ShPL) and shared parental pay (ShPP). In effect, this has replaced additional statutory paternity leave (ASPL) and pay (ASPP), although there was some overlap with both systems running in tandem until April 2016 (in respect of ASPL) and December 2015 (in respect of ASPP). The main legislation on this is in the Children and Families Act 2014 (subscription sensitive) and the Statutory Shared Parental Pay (General) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3051) (subscription sensitive). HMRC guidance is at SPM100000 onwards.

The new legislation applies from 5 April 2015. For births, the new system started for babies due on or after 5 April 2015; for adoptions, it started for children due to be matched on or after 5 April 2015.

The big difference between ShPL and ASPL is that both parents can be absent from work on ShPL at the same time. Where this happens, both parents may be also eligible for ShPP providing the qualifying conditions are met (see ShPP below).

For information on the other statutory leave periods and payments, see the Statutory payments guidance note.

References to ‘maternity leave’ and ‘maternity pay’ below should be read as applying equally to ‘adoption leave’ and ‘adoption pay’ unless specifically stated otherwise. References to ‘father’ should be read as including the mother’s or primary adopter’s partner.

Introduction to ShPL and ShPP

Mothers are still entitled to the full 52 weeks of maternity leave and the corresponding 39 weeks of SMP. The new arrangements for ShPL and ShPP will only apply once the couple have decided to utilise the ShPL regime together, and after the mother has ended her maternity leave and the corresponding statutory payment period. The couple need to ensure that they qualify

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