If you have checked your eligibility for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and decided that you intend to take some SPL, the first step is to give your employer a notice of entitlement, which states that you are eligible, and gives your employer an indication of how much you might take and when. This notice is not binding, so you can change your mind, and it does not count as a notice to book a period of SPL, unless you would like to do this at the same time, in which case you should indicate this clearly in the notice.
It’s a good idea to have a preliminary discussion with your employer about your plans before issuing the notice. Below is an example letter which you could adjust to give your employer your notice of entitlement to SPL for a birth child. This example includes notice to claim Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), but again you vary the dates for ShPP, as long as you give 8 weeks notice. The example letter is from a father, but remember mothers may wish to take SPL/ShPP as well or may be the only parent who qualifies.
As you know we are expecting a baby on 27th July 2017. This is my notice of entitlement and intention to take SPL.
My name: John Bispham, father of the baby [give your name here and state whether you are the father and/or partner of the mother]
My partner’s name: Elizabeth Bispham, mother of the baby [give the other parent/your partner’s name here and their relationship to the baby]
Start and end dates for maternity leave: 12th July 2017 to 31st October 2017 [give the intended start and end dates of maternity leave]
Start and end dates for maternity pay: 12th July 2017 to 31st October 2017 [give the intended start and end dates of maternity pay]
Total amount of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) available: 36 weeks [this will be 52 weeks minus the number of weeks of maternity leave/SMP/MA the mother intends to take]
Amount of SPL we intend to take: 30 weeks, of which I intend to take 20 weeks and Elizabeth intends to take 10 [you should indicate how much SPL you each intend to take, bearing in mind that it may not all be paid leave]
Total amount of Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) available: 23 weeks [this will be 39 weeks minus the number of weeks of SMP/MA the mother intends to take]
Amount of ShPP we intend to take: 23 weeks, of which I will take 20 weeks and Elizabeth will take 3 [explain how much ShPP you each intend to take]
I intend to take SPL and ShPP from 1st November 2017 to 19th March 2017. [Here John is taking SPL when Elizabeth returns to work. He could have taken some at the same time as her maternity leave and pay if he wished. This is only an intention and he will still need to book the actual dates, which could be different]
I confirm that I am the father of the baby and the partner of the mother, and I will be sharing childcare responsibility with my partner. I satisfy the conditions to take Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay, and Elizabeth intends to curtail her maternity leave and SMP. The information I have given in this notice is accurate and I will inform you immediately if I stop caring for the child or if my partner informs me that she has not ended her entitlement to maternity leave and/or SMP.
John Bispham [give your signature]
Here is a signed declaration from Elizabeth:
My name is Elizabeth Bispham, my address is 4 Anywhere Road, Anytown and my National Insurance number is ABC12345 [give name, address and national insurance number]. I am the mother of the child and John’s partner. I confirm that I satisfy the conditions to enable John to take SPL and ShPP [these are the conditions for the partner who is not taking SPL from this employer. In the example, both parents meet the conditions for SPL anyway]. I am entitled to statutory maternity leave and maternity pay and will be giving notice to end my leave and pay. I give my consent to John taking this amount of SPL and claiming ShPP. I confirm that my entitlement to SMP will start on 12th July 2017 and that I intend to reduce it by 16 weeks. I will inform John immediately if I stop meeting the condition that my maternity leave and pay are reduced. I consent to you processing this information so that you can give John SPL and pay him ShPP.
Elizabeth Bispham [the mother/other parent should sign here]
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