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Acas publishes free letter templates and a sample Shared Parental Leave policy

Acas has released a range of template letters and an example policy to help employers get to grips with the new Shared Parental Leave regulations.

The new rules allow couples to share maternity or adoption leave and pay, for children due to be born or adopted from 5 April 2015.

Parents will be able to share a 50-week 'pot' of leave, and can decide to be off work at the same time or take turns, or a combination of both. Blocks of leave can be taken continuously between partners or in discontinuous chunks.

Example letters and policy

The letters provide employers with handy resources for the various stages of the Shared Parental Leave process, such as notification of eligibility, requesting leave, confirmation of leave, and refusal of discontinuous leave.

An employer may refuse a request of discontinuous leave, but not a request for continuous leave.

The templates include:

  • a confirmation letter recognising an employee's entitlement to Shared Parental Leave
  • a letter inviting an employee to  discuss  his or her Shared Parental Leave notification
  • a confirmation letter to acknowledge the booking period of Shared Parental Leave
  • a letter refusing a discontinuous Shared Parental Leave request
  • a sample policy document for Shared Parental Leave.

The sample policy is an 11-page document that explains Shared Parental Leave and its various implications for employers and employees. The document can be adapted by employers to suit the particular circumstances of their organisation.

Acas Head of Guidance Stewart Gee said:

"We advise employers and employees to start early with discussions to ensure that they can agree the sort of arrangements which work best for business and working families. We are also running training courses to help employers prepare for the legal changes."

Acas publications and services

The templates can be downloaded for free from the Shared parental leave and pay page, along with the publication Shared Parental Leave: a good practice guide for employers and employees.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and help you develop effective policies for working parents; see Parents and carers for details.

Acas training on Maternity, paternity and adoption will keep you up to speed with all the changes surrounding Shared Parental Leave, as well as improve your understanding of the law in the way it relates to other family-relevant employment legislation.

For free, impartial advice on any employment relations issue, visit Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.


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