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Help for working families to make the most of shared parental leave

The Government has launched new online tools to make it easier for expectant parents to check their eligibility and understanding of Shared Parental Leave and Pay (https://www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay ) and to calculate their pay entitlement (https://www.gov.uk/plan-shared-parental-leave-pay). In addition, they will be able to download the documents they need to apply for leave from their employers.

The Shared Parental Leave and Pay initiative allows working parents to mix and match up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay during their child’s first year.

Shared leave and pay gives working families much more choice and flexibility about who cares for their child in the first year, and when. The scheme helps working women exercise more choice about when to go back to work, while also encouraging and supporting fathers and partners to take a greater role in their child’s care.

Parents can agree on a pattern of leave that works for them and their employer and can take leave and pay in up to 3 blocks (more if their employer agrees), returning to work between periods of leave, if they wish.

Eligible parents can spend up to 6 months off work together or stagger their leave and pay so that one of them is always at home with their child in its first year.

Parents also have access to up to twenty Shared Parental Leave in Touch Days (SPLiT days) each. Parents can use one or more of their SPLiT Days to work during a week that they are on Shared Parental Leave.

This enables both parents to trial part-time working whilst they are on Shared Parental Leave. For example, either parent can use their SPLiT days to trial working a 2, 3, or 4 day week.

For further information on holidays, time off work, sick leave maternity and paternity leave, there are more resources and information at www.gov.uk/employment/time-off.

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