Here in the UK if you child is born or adopted after the 5th of April 2015 you may be able to benefit from the new maternity / parental leave scheme that is coming into play!
While this may not be relevant to all our lovely readers or indeed us we thought it was such great news that we would share it as it is a change that anyone even thinking of becoming parents here in the UK should know about!
We think this is definitely a positive change for parents and kids alike, raising a kid should be a joint venture never left to one parent and should we ever have children I know that Laura and I would both bring very different attributes to the table so sharing leave is an ideal solution.
Having heard about this earlier in the year we had done a bit of research prior to today's announcement and couldn't believe how soon it was actually happening. The change comes with an aim to create a culture change for families and for employers focusing on flexibility that will benefit everyone, while allowing both parents to have an increased input into raising the child should they wish. All good things right?!
The starting point is of course the eligibility so here's the highlights:
To qualify for Shared Parental Leave (SPL), you must share care of the child with either:
- Your wife, husband, civil partner or joint adopter,
- The child’s other parent
- Your partner (if they live with you and the child)
- You or your partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave or Maternity Allowance or adoption pay or leave.
You must also:
- Have been employed continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or by the date you are matched with your adopted child)
- Be employed by the same employer while you take SPL
- Your partner’s eligibility
- Have been working for at least 26 weeks (which can be discontinuous) - they can be employed, self-employed or an agency worker
- Have earned at least £30 a week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks
52 weeks to share - amazing! Laura and I have always said if we do have kids (it's a long ongoing debate that has ended with a puppy......news on that another time!!) we would want to split the first year allowing us both to bond with the baby as well as share the task of going to work. So this plan will help us do exactly that. Of course a few of the details will depend on our employers but that's always been the case.
On the www.gov.uk/sharedparentalleave website you can check out all the exact details and this example is just one way that they explain:
The other good thing is the inclusion of Shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days in addition to the 10 ‘keeping in touch’ (or KIT) days already available to those on maternity or adoption leave. It allows you and your partner can both work up to 20 days during Shared Parental Leave. These are called ‘shared parental leave in touch’ (or SPLIT) days. Catching and kinda does what it says in the acronym.
For anyone wanting to know more check out the website or there is a free online guide here!
And here's a real-life case study I came across that I think sums it up, the fact that the lady in the example works in my industry is a coincidence but it explains the way it works perfectly for me: