The amount of ShPL and ShPP available will depend on how much maternity leave and pay the mother/ adopter has already taken by the time they give notice to end their maternity leave.
Generally, there is a ‘pot’ of 52 weeks leave and 39 weeks statutory pay available, so the number of weeks of maternity leave and statutory maternity pay taken by the mother is deducted from this total to calculate the remainder that can be shared. As a mother is obliged to take at least two weeks maternity leave and pay, the maximum amount of ShPL that can be available is 50 weeks and the maximum amount of ShPP available is 37 weeks.
- mother takes 12 weeks maternity leave and receives 12 weeks SMP
- mother then ends her maternity leave to share the remainder with her partner
- a shareable ‘pot’ of 40 weeks ShPL and 27 weeks ShPP becomes available.
You and your partner may wish to alternate your pattern of leave and pay, so one of you ‘swaps on’ to ShPL/ShPP while the other ‘swaps off’ and returns to work. You can also share your leave and pay so you take it at the same time. For example, you could take 20 weeks, then return to work so your partner takes the remaining 20 weeks. Alternatively, both you and your partner could take 20 weeks at the same time.
This is important as ShPL provisions also let you suggest a flexible pattern of leave to your employer.
You have the right to request ShPL in up to three separate blocks but your employer can agree to more. They can also let you split each block into several shorter periods of work and leave. Generally, you will need to give eight weeks’ notice of your intention to take shared parental leave and pay, but always check your employer's policies.
NHS terms and conditions
From 1 April 2019, shared parental pay for staff working in the NHS in England will be enhanced to the same levels as occupational maternity and adoption pay. Previously it was only paid at statutory levels.
For eligibility criteria, please see section 15 of the NHS terms and conditions of service.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Consideration is being given to extending this to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.