New Split Paternity Leave – what does it mean for you?

Saturday, October 17, 2015
The new shared Parental Leave regulation came into force on the 1st December 2014. The new scheme is aimed to give the parents greater flexibility in taking care of their babies in the early stages of child care and move away from the somewhat stereotypical assumption that it is women who will stay at home and take care of the babies.

This new regulation applies to couples with babies due or after 5 April 2015. The government believe that the changes in how maternity leave can be used will create a culture in workplaces where fathers feel more confident in taking time off for childcare.

Under the regulation, mothers will still take at least 2 weeks of maternity leave immediately after birth, but after that working couples have the opportunity to share up to 37 weeks of pay and 50 weeks of leave.

So how much shared parental pay will employees be able to claim? For the first six weeks the parent on leave will be entitled to receive 90% of their average weekly earnings before tax. For the remaining 33 weeks their pay entitlement will be 90% of their average weekly earnings or the current rate of statutory maternity pay- whichever is lower.

The new rules also impact on paternity rights. Working fathers will still be entitled to take two weeks' paid paternity leave entitlement immediately after the child's birth. Notice of paternity leave and pay has been aligned so both must be given by the 15th week before the birth.

It is encouraging for both women and men to have a more equal responsibility over the family life and the household as a whole. It also motivating for woman to keep up with their careers by not being away from work for too long. In my opinion, it is great that Government has realised how important it is for both parents to be involved in the child's early stages of development.

Increasingly more employers recognise that they can only retain the talented staff by offering a flexible approach to work and a healthy work-life balance. At the end of the day, healthy and happy employees are more productive and can perform better at work.

If you have further questions, please give us a call. We're happy to help!