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Shared Parental Leave and Pay - Who does it help?

If you and your partner are expecting a child, you can choose to share some of your parental leave and pay.

Who does it help?

You may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP) if:

  • Your baby is due or you have been notified of an adoption match or have a child placed for adoption and,

  • You (mother or adopter) are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) or Maternity Allowance (MA) based on your own employment or self-employment, and

  • You reduce the period over which you are paid SMP, SAP or MA from the maximum of 39 weeks, and

  • You share the main care of the child with your ‘partner’ (spouse, civil partner or joint adopter) and you both agree to the Statutory Shared Parental Pay claim, and

  • You meet the requirement for being ‘continuously employed  for a set period’ and your partner meets a set ‘employment and earnings requirement’.

If you get MA on the basis of your employment or self-employment and you reduce the length of time over which MA is paid, you cannot qualify for SSPP, though your child’s father or your partner may qualify.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL)

To get Shared Parental Leave (SPL):

  • You must share care of the child with either your spouse, civil partner or joint adopter, the child’s other parent, your partner (if they live with you and the child)

  • You or your partner must be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay or Leave, Statutory Adoption Pay or Leave or Maternity Allowance.

  • You must have been employed continuously by your employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of birth (or by the end of the week in which notification of the adoption match is received)

  • You must still be employed by your employer until the week before you take any period of SPL.

And, during the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due (or the week you’re matched with your adopted child), your partner must:

  • Have been working for at least 26 weeks (which do not have to be continuous). They can be employed, self-employed or an agency worker

  • Have earned at least £30 a week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks

Your partner doesn’t have to be working at the date of birth or when you start SPL or SSPP.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP)

You can get SSPP if you’re an employee (link opens in a new window) and one of the following applies:

  • You’re eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)

  • You’re eligible for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and your partner is eligible for SMP, Maternity Allowance (MA) or SAP

*You can also get SSPP if you’re a worker and you’re eligible for SMP or SPP.

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