When an employee is on leave - Shared parental leave and pay

When an employee is on leave

It's a good idea for the employer and employee to keep in contact when the employee is on shared parental leave.

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.

Shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days

The employee and employer can agree on up to 20 shared parental leave 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 shared parental leave for not continuing a contract.

When a contract ends, the parent's shared parental leave 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 shared parental leave, they could still be entitled to shared parental pay.


There is extra protection for employees who take shared parental leave.

Find out about redundancy protection for pregnancy and new parents

Returning to work

After shared parental leave, the same rights and processes apply as returning to work after maternity leave.

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