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Eligible parents are entitled to take or share up to 52 weeks Shared Parental Leave during the child’s first year in their family, less the weeks spent by the mother on maternity leave (or in receipt of SMP or MA) or, where the employee is adopting, less the weeks of adoption leave taken by either the employee or their partner (or the weeks in which the partner has been in receipt of SAP if they were not entitled to adoption leave).

If the employee is the mother, she cannot start Shared Parental Leave until after the compulsory maternity leave period, which lasts until two weeks after birth.

Where the employee is adopting, either the employee or their partner must take at least two weeks of adoption leave and/or pay.

The father/partner can take Shared Parental Leave immediately following the birth/placement of the child, but may first choose to exhaust any paternity leave entitlements.  Shared Parental Leave is in addition to any paternity leave entitlement but any untaken paternity leave entitlement will be lost once the father/partner starts a period of Shared Parental Leave.

Shared Parental Leave must end no later than one year after the birth/placement of the child.  Any Shared Parental Leave not taken by the first birthday or first anniversary of placement for adoption is lost.