POLICY

Shared parental leave

A policy that aims to improve on the amount of time off and pay linked to statutory parental leave, which can be shared equally between parents.

Contents

  1. Statement of Intent
  2. What is ShPL and statutory rights?
  3. CAAT’s Occupational Shared Parental Pay (OShPP)
  4. Returning to CAAT
  5. Deciding not to return to CAAT
  6. Redundancy
  7. Annual Leave and TOIL
  8. Notification requirements
  9. Keeping in Touch Days
  10. Conditions of Service

Policy

Statement of Intent

No employee will be treated less favourably or dismissed for any reason relating to their expected or current parental leave. CAAT aims to provide a positive working environment for parents and will strive to make all reasonable adjustments to support parents.

What is ShPL and statutory rights?

Shared Parental Leave (ShPL) is a scheme which allows parents to share leave when caring for a new child. Each parent qualifies separately for ShPL. To qualify for you must share responsibility for the child with one of the following:

  • your husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
  • the child’s other parent
  • your partner (if they live with you and the child)

ShPL can be taken when the mother ends her maternity/adoption leave/pay early, although there is a compulsory two weeks off which a woman must take by law after childbirth. You can then share the remaining leave (52 weeks less any weeks of maternity or adoption leave already taken) between yourself and the other parent.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SShPP) is very similar to Statutory Maternity Pay, £139.58 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is the lower. Parents can book up to three separate blocks of ShPL each instead of taking it all in one go. You must give the Office Coordinator at least eight weeks notice before you begin a block of leave.

CAAT’s Occupational Shared Parental Pay (OShPP)

An employee at CAAT is entitled to OShPP if they are entitled to statutory ShPL It is the same pay as CAAT’s Occupational Maternity Pay, less the two weeks which must be taken by the mother immediately after birth. The entitlement is:

  • 6 weeks of leave on full pay, inclusive of SShPP;
  • 22 weeks of leave on half pay, plus SShPP;
  • 9 weeks of leave at SShPP only;
  • 13 weeks of unpaid leave

on the condition that the employee returns to CAAT for at least 6 months following the end of their Shared Parental leave. Tax and National Insurance on OShPP will be deducted in the same way as with regular wages.

Returning to CAAT

The employee is entitled to return to the job in which they were employed under the original contract of employment and on the same terms and conditions following their period of ShPL. However, if more than the maximum 50 weeks of leave has been taken, it may be difficult for CAAT to arrange return to exactly the same job. In this situation, CAAT will do its best to find a suitable alternative position, which is no less favourable than the original job.

Deciding not to return to CAAT

If a decision is made by the employee not to return to CAAT after their ShPL the normal contractual period of notice must be given in writing and half the difference between SShPP and OShPP must be repaid to CAAT within a period of twelve months from the date the employee resigns (or a period of time and time-frame agreed by both parties). The employee will be paid an amount equivalent to this if they state they will not be returning to CAAT when they start their ShPL.

If the employee decides to leave CAAT within 6 months of returning to work after the end of their Shared Parental leave then the employee must repay CAAT a proportion of their OShPP that relates to how much of the 6 months they worked. For example, if they leave after returning to work for 3 months then they would need to repay 50% of half the difference between SShPP and OShPP. This should be repaid to CAAT within a period of twelve months from the date the employee resigns (or a period of time and time-frame agreed by both parties).

Redundancy

An employee on ShPL can still be made redundant. As with all redundancies the correct
procedure must be followed and the normal rules relating to redundancies must be applied. Where a contract of employment ends, OShPP will be paid up to the last day of the contract and any remaining weeks of paid ShPL will be paid at the SShPP rate.

Annual Leave and TOIL

Annual leave is accrued during the period of ShPL.

If an employee decides not to return to CAAT following their period of ShPL, payment in lieu of annual leave calculated up to the last working day and not taken before the start of the ShPL, will be given and, where relevant, this will be offset against the repayment of any proportion of OShPP.

Payment can also be made for TOIL not taken before maternity leave began.

Notification requirements

Prior written notification of at least eight weeks must be given to the Office Coordinator of intention to take ShPL, and the likely blocks of leave an employee wishes to take. Any subsequent changes to the dates of leave should also be given in writing to the Office Coordinator with eight weeks notice. An employee should be prepared to send a copy of the birth certificate if requested.

Employees who wish to return to work following a block of ShPL either earlier or later than agreed should provide the Office Coordinator with eight weeks’ notice, unless CAAT agrees to less notice being given.

Keeping in Touch Days

Each employee on ShPL can attend work under the terms of their contract for up to 10 days each; these are called Keeping In Touch days (KIT). These days are optional and are in addition to the 10 KIT days available for those on maternity or adoption leave. There are no restrictions on when KIT days can be used.

Any work done under during a KIT day will count as a full day – for example if an employee comes in for an hour training session this will mean she has used one of her KIT days.

KIT days will be paid according to contract, minus OShPP or SShPP already being paid. If the amount an employee has worked on a KIT day is less than the OShPP or SShPP due for that day (for example 1 hour) the employee will only receive the OShPP/SShPP the employee is entitled to for that day. If a KIT day is taken during unpaid ShPL the employee will receive their usual contracted rate of pay for the time worked.

Conditions of Service

ShPL does not break continuity of employment for contract purposes. The period of paid ShPL is used in the calculation of continuous employment at CAAT.

Discussion

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