The new shared parental leave and pay provisions apply from 5th April 2015 and are governed by the Work and Families (Northern Ireland) Act 2015. The new laws mean that parents will be able to have shared parental leave and pay in their child’s first year. The law operates by allowing working mothers the option to end their maternity/adoption pay and leave early and to share any untaken leave and pay with their partner. It will replace the existing provisions on additional paternity leave.
Who is eligible?
Employees may be entitled to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if:
The first two weeks (or four weeks if working in a factory) must still be taken by the mother for health and safety reasons.
Shared Parental Leave
To qualify for Shared Parental Leave you must share care of the child with either:
You must also:
The employee’s partner must also fulfil certain conditions.
Statutory Shared Parental Pay
An employee will also qualify for ShPP if one of the following applied:
Enhanced Shared Parental Pay and the risk of discrimination
Some employers may wish to provide more than just statutory shared parental pay. These are more than likely to be the same employers that already provide enhanced maternity pay.