When an employee is on Shared Parental Leave
It’s a good idea for the employer and employee to keep in contact when the employee is on Shared Parental Leave (SPL).
The employer still has legal obligations to the employee while they’re off and should let the employee know of any changes or job opportunities.
They should both agree before the employee goes on leave how and when they’ll stay in touch, for example they might decide to use keeping in touch days (‘SPLIT’ days).
Shared Parental Leave keeping in touch (SPLIT) days
The employee and employer can agree on up to 20 Shared Parental Leave keeping in touch (‘SPLIT’) days.
These work in a similar way to keeping in touch (‘KIT’) days with maternity leave.
SPLIT days can be useful for the employee to:
- keep up to date with work
- go to a work-related activity or training session
- work part of a week to help the team
- return from leave in a gradual way, for example taking 2 SPLIT days and working 3 days a week to start with
It’s up to the employer and employee to agree:
- whether to use SPLIT days
- how many of the 20 to use
- how much the employee will get paid for them
Pay for SPLIT days still needs to meet the National Minimum Wage.
If an employment contract ends
If a fixed-term contract was due to end anyway, the employer does not have to renew it. But the employer must not use the fact that a parent has taken or intends to take SPL for not continuing a contract.
When a contract ends, the parent’s SPL entitlement ends. This is even if they start working for another employer, because they’ll no longer meet the eligibility test. The other parent keeps their entitlement, if they had it.
If the contract ends while the employee is on SPL, they could still be entitled to ShPP.
There's extra protection for employees being made redundant while they’re on Shared Parental Leave. It’s the same as when an employee is pregnant or on maternity leave.
Download our guide to redundancy when an employee is pregnant or on maternity leave (PDF, 299KB, 13 pages).
Returning to work
After Shared Parental Leave, the same rights and processes apply as returning to work after maternity leave.