Shared Parental Leave and Pay

How Shared Parental Leave works

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) gives more choice in how 2 parents can care for their child.

Eligible parents who are sharing responsibility for a child can get SPL in the first year after:

  • the birth of their child
  • adopting a child
  • getting a parental order if they had the child through surrogacy

How much Shared Parental Leave a parent can get

Eligible parents can get:

  • up to 50 weeks of SPL
  • up to 37 weeks of Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

How much SPL or ShPP eligible parents get depends on how much:

  • maternity entitlement the birth parent has taken
  • adoption entitlement the primary adopter has taken

It’s the same amount even if the parents have more than one:

  • baby, for example twins
  • child in the same adoption placement

If the birth parent or primary adopter is not entitled to maternity or adoption leave

They will not be eligible to take SPL themselves, but if they’re getting maternity pay, adoption pay or Maternity Allowance, they can end (‘curtail’) this to create SPL or ShPP for the other parent.

Ways parents can use Shared Parental Leave

Ways eligible parents could use SPL include:

  • the birth parent or primary adopter returns to work early from maternity or adoption leave and takes SPL at a later date
  • the birth parent or primary adopter returns to work and their partner takes SPL
  • both parents are off at the same time
  • both parents share SPL evenly and are off at different times
  • both parents return to work at the same time and take SPL at a later date