Partner/father takes Shared Parental Leave
The partner/father needs to have worked for the same employer throughout the pregnancy (or for 26 weeks before being matched for a child). The mother/other adopter needs to meet the looser employment and earning conditions, and must end their maternity leave/Maternity Allowance or Statutory Maternity Pay early. That can be done either by returning to work if they are an employee, or by giving binding notice either to their employer and/or to Jobcentre Plus that they intend to come back or start working again before their leave and/or pay would otherwise end – this is called curtailment. If the partner/father wants to get Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), then the mother/adopter needs to be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay or Maternity Allowance and give formal notice to ‘curtail’ the pay period.
For example, dad could take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) right after his ordinary paternity leave, overlapping with mum’s maternity leave, as long as mum has given binding notice that she will be ending her maternity leave and/or pay early. Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) is payable if the dad/partner earns at least the lower earnings limit a week and there is some SMP or Maternity Allowance (MA) which the mother has curtailed.
You can find information about how to give notice of entitlement and notice to book SPL here, and there is more information on the ACAS website and the GOV website. You can check your family’s entitlement to leave and pay, including Shared Parental Leave, using the government calculator.
This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.