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An eligible employee must give their Institution notification of their entitlement and intention to take to SPL in writing at least eight weeks before they can take any period of SPL. They must also give their Institution notice if they are intending to claim ShPP. The CHRIS75a and CHRIS75b forms capture all the required information that an employee must provide under the Regulations.

The regulations specify that notice of entitlement must be in writing and include:

  • The name of the employee;
  • The name of the other parent;
  • The start and end dates of any maternity/adoption leave or pay, or maternity allowance, taken in respect of the child;
  • The total amount of SPL available;
  • The child’s expected date of birth, actual date of birth, or date of placement;
  • The amount of SPL the employee and their partner each intend to take;
  • A non-binding indication of when the employee expects to take the leave.

The employee must provide the University with a signed declaration stating:

  • That they meet, or will meet, the eligibility conditions and are entitled to take SPL;
  • That the information they have given is accurate;
  • If they are not the mother/adopter they must confirm that they are either the father of the child or the spouse, civil partner or partner of the mother/adopter;
  • That should they cease to be eligible they will immediately inform the University.

The employee must also provide the University with a signed declaration from their partner confirming:

  • Their name, address and national insurance number (or a declaration that they do not have a national insurance number);
  • That they are the mother/adopter of the child or they are the father of the child or are the spouse, civil partner or partner of the mother/adopter;
  • That they satisfy the ‘employment and earnings test’ (see above), and had at the date of the child’s birth or placement for adoption the main responsibility for the child, along with the employee;
  • That they consent to the amount of SPL that the employee intends to take;
  • That they consent to the University processing the information contained in the declaration form; and
  • That they will immediately inform their partner should they cease to satisfy the eligibility conditions (in the case where the partner is the mother/adopter),.

Where an employee is intending to claim ShPP they must also give their Institution notice which includes:

  • How much ShPP both parents are entitled to take;
  • How much ShPP each parent intends to take;
  • When they expect to take ShPP and;
  • A declaration from the employee’s partner confirming their agreement to the employee claiming their amount of ShPP.

On receipt of a notification of entitlement (CHRIS75a) from an employee, the Head of Institution or Institution Administrator should acknowledge receipt using template letter a.

It is not necessary for the Institution to forward the CHRIS75a to the HR Division until an application for SPL (CHRIS75b) is also submitted (see Stage 3).

What if parents change their plans after they have provided their notice of eligibility?

Once a parent has given notice to end their maternity/adoption leave and either parent has informed their employer of their entitlement to take SPL, the notice is binding and cannot be withdrawn except in very specific circumstances:

  • When notice was given before the birth of the child, it may be withdrawn without reason up to six weeks following the birth;
  • Within eight weeks of the mother submitting her notice to end her maternity/adoption leave it transpires that neither parent qualifies for SPL or;
  • The mother/adopter’s partner dies.

Where both parents are entitled to SPL they will have jointly informed their employers of how much SPL they each intend to take over the SPL period with their notice of entitlement. Parents are allowed to vary the way in which they distribute SPL between them at any stage providing they write to their employer specifying:

  • The details of their original division of SPL;
  • That they intend to change this division;
  • How they now intend to take their SPL.

Both parents must sign this notice and confirm that they both agree to the change. If the leave has already been applied for and granted, the employee will also have to submit a SPL variation notice (CHRIS75c) and this will count as one of their three permitted SPL applications.

Further evidence of eligibility

The regulations put the onus on the employee to check whether they are eligible for SPL and ShPP. Therefore SPL should be granted based on the information and declarations provided by the employee as they constitute sufficient evidence to do so.

However, in exceptional circumstances, the Institution may, within 14 days of a SPL notice of entitlement being received, request:

  • The name and business address of the partner’s employer (where the employee’s partner is no longer employed or is self-employed their contact details must be given instead)
  • In the case of biological parents, a copy of the child's birth certificate (or, where one has not been issued, a MATB1 or equivalent).
  • In the case of an adopted child, documentary evidence of the name and address of the adoption agency, the date on which they were was notified of having been matched with the child and the date on which the agency expects to place the child for adoption

In order to be entitled to SPL, the employee must produce this information within 14 days of the request. However it is advised that, in circumstances where an Institution feels that this additional evidence is necessary, they contact their HR Schools Team in the first instance.

In turn, if an Institution is approached by another employer for information regarding an individual’s eligibility for SPL the Institution should ensure that their response is given in a timely manner, consistent with data protection obligations and duty of confidentiality. Institutions are advised to contact their HR Schools Team if they have any concerns about the information they are being asked to provide.