Shared Parental Leave and Pay
The government has announced the rate of pay for Shared Parental Leave (ShPP) and as expected it is set at the same rate as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) which from Aril 2015 will be £138.18 or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is the lower.
Anyone considering taking the new shared parental leave needs to consider that SMP is paid at 90% of normal weekly earnings for the first six weeks of leave, therefore anyone taking Shared Parental Leave needs to be aware that they could lose out on sone pay for up to four weeks.
It is a mandatory requirement that the Mother takes the first two weeks of leave after giving birth, therefore she will be entitled to maternity pay for those two weeks, however she than has the opportunity to opt for Shard Parental Leave which would immediately take away the right to the next four weeks at 90% of normal earnings – it would drop to the ShPP figure of £138.18.
Therefore from a financial point of view it would seem to be sensible to take maternity leave for the first six weeks and then opt for Shared Parental Leave after that as there will be no difference in payment.
This is all explained fairly clearly on the government website which can be accessed by clicking here
Shared Parental Leave is an entitlement of parents whose baby is born after 05 April 2015 and is the latest in changes that have been made to the maternity, paternity and parental rights legislation. Parents do not have to opt for the new Shared Parental Leave and they can instead stick with the existing maternity and paternity legislation. However, it does provide an alternative way to share the responsibility of bringing up baby in the first year. If families where Mum is the bigger earner it may well make financial sense for Dad to take more time off work at the ShPP figure.
If you are unsure about your rights or if you believe that your employer is not paying you the correct amount you can call the employment specialists at Alpha Law on 0845 070 0505 (Please note: Calls to this number will cost approximately 4p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge).