Get Up to Speed with Shared Parental Leave

If your baby is due on or after 5 April 2015 or you adopt a child after the 5 April 2015, you may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

If you are eligible for SPL, instead of taking leave all in one go, you can take it in separate blocks.

In order to start your SPL or ShPP, mothers must end their maternity leave for SPL and Maternity Allowance or maternity pay for ShPP. Her partner may still get SPL if she doesn’t get maternity leave but ends her Maternity Allowance or pay early.

If you’re adopting a child, then you or your partner must end your adoption pay and adoption leave early.

If you’re eligible, can:

  • Take the remaining leave as SPL (which is 52 weeks, minus any spent weeks of maternity or adoption leave).
  • Take the remaining pay as ShPP (which is 39 weeks, minus any weeks of Maternity Allowance, pay or adoption pay).

If neither you nor your partner is entitled to Maternity Leave or adoption leave, SPL will be allowed, minus any weeks of Maternity Allowance, maternity pay or adoption pay.

If you’re both eligible, you can share both SPL and ShPP.

SPL and ShPP need to be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday, or within one year of adoption.

How much pay you’ll receive

ShPP is paid at either 90% of your average weekly earnings or £139.58, whichever is lower.

This is the same as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), except the first 6 weeks of SMP is paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings, with no limit.

Applying for SPL and ShPP

If you want to start SPL or ShPP, you must give your employer written notice. If you’re eligible for both SPL and ShPP, you can give notice for both at the same time.

You will be able to find the appropriate forms on the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) website.

If you change your mind at a later date about how much SPL or ShPP you want to take or when you want to take it, you will have to give your employer at least eight weeks notice before the start of your leave.


Employers have 14 days from when you apply for SPL or ShPP to ask for more information, including:

  • A copy of the birth certificate
  • A declaration of the date and place of birth, if you haven’t yet registered the birth)
  • The name and address of your partner, or a declaration that your partner has no employer

If you’re adopting, your employ may ask for:

  • The name and address of the adoption agency
  • The date you and the child were matched
  • The date from which the child will be living with you
  • The name and address of your partner’s employer or a declaration that they have no employer

You must provide them with this information within 14 days of being asked for it.