Shared Parental Leave (or “SPL”) is the provision to share up to 52 weeks (the first two weeks being Maternity/Paternity leave) of your maternity leave and 27 weeks of your Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) with your child’s father/your partner. This enables you to be off work together, or at different times, to give you flexibility in considering how best to care for and bond with your child during the first year following the birth.
If you are both employees at the University of Cambridge, you will both get 18 weeks of full pay.
Types of Shared Parental Leave
Continuous leave refers to a number of weeks taken at one point, for instance six weeks in a row.
Discontinuous leave refers to taking a set number of weeks of Shared Parental Leave with periods of work in between. For instance, organising to take six weeks of Shared Parental Leave in blocks of working every other week for a period of three months.
Discontinuous leave will be at the discretion of the department and they have the right to refuse it.
Eligible parents are entitled to take or share up to 52 weeks Shared Parental Leave during the child’s first year in their family.
The mother is able to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) after she has completed the compulsory maternity leave period which is a total of two weeks after the birth of the child.
The father/partner can take SPL immediately after the birth of the child. However, he may choose to take his paternity leave entitlement after the child is born and then his SPL.
The father/partner will lose their paternity leave if they take SPL straight after the birth of the child. In addition to this, they will also lose their Paternity Leave if it is not taken within 56 days of the actual date of birth.
How to apply
Before applying for Shared Parental Leave, an individual must express their interest in going on Shared Parental Leave by completing a CHRIS75/A. Once completed, please submit to your department HR administrator.
To apply for Shared Parental leave, the individual must complete a CHRIS/75B and submit the form at least 8 weeks before the start date of the leave.
Guidance when completing the CHRIS/75B.
- Section C 12. The section referring to number of weeks you will take does not include paternity leave.
- Section C 13. The number of weeks you have taken, unless this is your second or third period, the number of days will amount to zero.
- Section C 14. The number of weeks your partner is taking refers to the total amount of weeks taken. The MAX total for this section is 39 weeks.
If you need any support whilst completing the form, please refer to page 4 of the Shared Parental Leave Policy or contact your department HR Administrator.
Shared Parental Leave Pay
A mother, who meets the eligibility criteria, is entitled to statutory maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance for up to 39 weeks. If the mother has given notice that they wish to curtail their maternity/adoption leave and opt into SPL before they have received all of their 39 weeks statutory pay then any remaining weeks could become payable as ShPP.
Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)
Eligible employees may be entitled to take up to 39 weeks of ShPP while taking Shared Parental Leave. ShPP may be payable during some/or all of the Shared Parental Leave depending on the length and timing of the leave.
If the individual would like to apply for ShPP, they must give the University written notice advising they would like to claim for this. The weekly rate of ShPP is set by the Government and mirrors the rate of statutory maternity/adoption pay and maternity allowance.
If both parents are eligible to receive ShPP they need to decide who is going to receive it, and when, and inform their respective employers. For employees of the University, this information is captured on the CHRIS75a and CHRIS75b.
Split days on Shared Parental Leave
An employee is able to work for the University for up to 20 days during Shared Parental Leave without their leave being terminated. These 20 days are not mandatory and the individual is not obligated to take them.
The 20 spilt days is in addition to the 10 KIT days that individuals are also entitled too.
An employee will receive full pay for the hours worked during a SPILT day.
What happens if my Shared Parental Leave starts when my contract is about to end?
If an employee is on Shared Parental Leave when their contract is due to cease, the Procedures for Ending Fixed Term Contracts must be followed. In these circumstances the relevant Clinical School HR Adviser can be contacted in advance of the contract end date for guidance on the consultation process.
If an employee’s contract comes to an end during a period of SPL, any Enhanced Occupational Pay (EShPP) will cease with effect from their last day of service. However, any remaining ShPP to which they are entitled will usually remain payable via the University Payroll, unless they start working for a new employer.
For further information, contact your department HR contact in the first instance.