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What is Shared Parental Leave?

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is available for all eligible employees who become parents of babies due, or children placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015. It allows both parents the flexibility to decide how to best care for their child during its first year with their family.

The regulations give parents the right to take SPL and place a duty with the University to ensure that employees are not penalised for using their entitlement or put under pressure to cancel/change a leave application.

The amount of leave available is calculated using the mother’s entitlement to maternity/adoption leave, which allows them to take up to 52 weeks’ leave. If they reduce their maternity/adoption leave entitlement then they and/or their partner may opt-in to the SPL system and take any remaining weeks as SPL. This means their partner could begin to take SPL while the mother is still on maternity/adoption leave.

SPL enables parents to share the caring responsibilities evenly or have one parent taking the main caring role, depending on their preferences and circumstances. Unlike maternity/adoption leave, eligible employees can stop and start their SPL and return to work between periods of leave with each eligible parent able to submit up to three notices booking periods of leave.