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The Regulations for Shared Parental Leave is a new entitlement coming into  force on 1 December 2014.  The thinking behind Shared Parental Leave is to give parents a more flexible approach to how they share the childcare during the first year of their child’s life.

Who will this affect?  The new regulations will apply to babies due on or after 5th April 2015.  This will also apply to children who have been matched for adoption or placed for adoption on or after the 5 April 2015.

So how will it work?

Parents will be allowed to take 52 weeks off work after having or adopting a baby.  Should a mother decided to return to work quickly she can handover her unused allowance to the father.  If after a period of time it is clear the schedule isn’t working the mother can then swap back and the father can return to work.  Don’t panic yet, there will be notice periods built in to the procedures so employers can plan ahead and the process will be limited to taking three separate sets of leave during 52 weeks

Will you have to pay employees to take this time off?

This partly depends on how generous you want to be, but ‘yes’ is the short answer.  You will need to pay at the statutory levels for 39 of the 52 weeks and that will be based on the salary of the parent who is on leave. If you want to pay an enhanced scheme this will be at your discretion.

But you really don’t need to fret about Shared Parental Leave, why not let us take the complication away and prepare a Shared Parental Leave Policy for you.