UK dads urged to consider shared parental leaveStaff writer ▼ | June 21, 2016
Eligible dads in the UK can now share up to 39 weeks’ pay and up to 52 weeks of leave with the child’s mother in the first year of their baby’s life.
Parenting 39 weeks of pay and 52 weeks of leave
This gives dads and partners an opportunity to bond with their new-born and many dads and partners will also qualify for statutory pay.
Parents must meet the eligibility criteria in order to take advantage of Shared Parental Leave and pay.
Those eligible can take: any weeks of Maternity Leave that the mother does not intend to use as up to 50 weeks of Shared Parental Leave any weeks of Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance that the mother does not intend to use as up to 37 weeks of Shared Parental Pay
Parents can decide how best they split up leave, and whether to take it all at once or in blocks. The scheme allows parents to book up to 3 separate blocks of Shared Parental Leave instead of taking it all in one go.
To qualify for Shared Parental Leave and Pay, an employee must have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks at the "qualifying week".
To qualify for pay they must additionally have earned at least the lower earnings level (currently £112 a week) in an 8 week test period.
The other parent must be employed or a self-employed earner who has worked for 26 weeks and earned £30 on average in any 13 of those weeks in the 66 weeks before the week the baby is due.
The same principles apply to adopters and in the case of joint adoptions, the other parent can qualify for Shared Parental Leave and Pay where the parent that qualifies for Adoption Leave and Pay doesn’t intend to take their full leave and pay entitlement.
Shared Parental Leave is also available to new adoptive parents. ■