What contractual pay is offered to mothers* on maternity leave? 16 weeks’ full pay followed by 10 weeks’ half pay followed by 13 weeks’ SMP (for employees with more than 1 years’ service)
What contractual pay and leave is being offered to fathers/other parent who opt to take SPL? Exactly the same as above for maternity leave when mapped across to the equivalent week in the mother’s maternity leave period
Does contractual pay have to be repaid if the employees does not to return? No
Will entitlement to SPL be reduced according to SML already taken? Yes, the amount of SPL available to a couple will be 52 weeks minus the number of weeks used/to be used by the mother on maternity leave.
Is your contractual Shared Parental Pay reduced by the number of weeks of SMP received by the mother? No
Can SPL be taken from day one of employment? No
Is it tied to the date of the child’s birth? Yes, it must be taken within a year of the child’s birth.
Are there any limitations on how SPL can be taken ie minimum continuous block? No we will consider all requests with the aim being to agree unless there are genuine business reasons why a pattern can’t be accommodated.
Do you incentivise certain patterns of leave? No
Do you offer a bonus on return from SPL if minimum period it taken? No

*or primary adopter

How are you communicating and encouraging people to take SPL?

We ran a high profile communications campaign on our intranet in October 2014 and again in April 2015 to promote SPL and the firm’s decision to offer enhanced pay. We are also promoting SPL to all eligible pregnant employees and, where possible, to eligible employees taking paternity leave. We plan to showcase employees, both men and women, who take Shared Parental Leave via our Working Families Network. We already have a husband and wife who both work at Deloitte and we will be sharing their story with the wider firm.

Can you describe what wider cultural changes needed to support SPL are being implemented?

Our aim is to encourage and enable more fathers/partners to share the care of the child during the first year. This will require a change in thinking and attitudes. Our HR teams will be coaching the business in responding to requests for shared parental leave to help ensure that we take a fair and consistent approach to all requests from men and women.  As described above, telling the stories of those who do take SPL is important, alongside the continued work we are doing to support as many of our men and women as possible to work in agile ways. Furthermore we will be re-launching our Working Parents Transitions Programme in June that to offer best in class training and coaching to mothers and fathers across the firm. The programme offers training to mothers pre and during leave but importantly includes a 5 month post maternity programme once they have settled back into the business. An additional component of this programme is a five month programme for all fathers who take more than 3 months leave as part of SPL and mandatory training to all team leaders who manage mothers and fathers so we can better embed support for our parents’ transitions.

What do you expect take up of SPL amongst fathers to be? Have you surveyed your employees about SPL and uptake?  Other surveys have shown that mothers may be unwilling to relinquish maternity leave: have you detected similar?

We expect at least 10% of our new fathers to take SPL in the first year following its introduction, possibly higher, particularly in the first 16 weeks after the child’s birth as this is when our enhanced pay is at full pay rate. We surveyed our Working Parents network last year and the majority of fathers indicated they would like to take some leave, maybe tagged on to paternity leave. Whilst some mothers indicated they would not wish to give up any maternity leave, there were many who thought they might give up the last month or so when their maternity pay had run out in order to have their partner at home with them in the early months following the birth.

Do you have any insight into how parents might like to take SPL? Which is best for your business in terms of planning?

Our survey of the Working Parents Network suggested that most parents will still want to take one single block of leave. Whilst a single continuous block of leave works well for the business in terms of resource planning, there are occasions where it would suit the business if someone was out for shorter discontinuous periods rather than one longer single block.