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As of the 1st December 2014 there have been changes to the law regarding shared parental leave – changes that also apply to those adopting a child. This modification allows parents to split the maternity/ paternity leave over 52 weeks.

Previously, fathers were able to take over leave from the mother after the baby is 20 weeks old. This has now changed as the mothers can give any unused maternity allowance to their partner as soon as compulsory leave has finished – this currently stands at two weeks.

What does this mean for employers?

These changes won’t have a large impact on most employers due to the fact that the time span hasn’t been massively changed. The biggest impact will be that employers will need to understand the new regulations and amend their procedures to take account of the changes.

Everything you need to know

While the main change to splitting leave is very easy to come to terms with, there are some more things you should know about this change, including: 

•    This change applies to expectant mothers with a due date on or after 5th April 2015. If the baby is born earlier than the due date then the new regulations will apply nonetheless.

•    After the mother’s two week compulsory leave the parents are able to choose how they wish to split the 52 weeks between themselves.

•    Employees will need to give their employers notification of when they’re planning on taking leave so that staffing issues can be addressed. Notification should be provided 15 weeks before the baby is due.

•    Written notice must be given regarding entitlement and intention of shared parental leave. This should be done 8 weeks before the start of the first period of leave.

•    Share parental pay is currently set at £139.58 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings if this figure is lower than the government’s weekly rate.

To find out more about the new legislations surrounding shared parental leave then get in touch with Howells Solicitors today. We are specialists in employment law and can offer advice to both employees and businesses. For more information call us on 08081782773 today.

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