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Update on new employment legislation relating to shared parental leave

Regulations relating to shared parental leave and pay came into effect on 1st December 2014 and will apply to parents of babies due (or children placed for adoption) on or after 5 April 2015.

In summary:

  • Mothers still have two weeks' compulsory maternity leave (four weeks for manual workers), but they can now share the remaining 50 weeks' maternity leave and 37 weeks' pay.
  • Employed mothers and fathers (or partners) who meet the qualifying criteria can end the mother's maternity leave and pay and share the balance as flexible parental leave and pay.
  • The same rights to maternity leave and pay, as well as to shared parental leave, are available to adoptive parents. One prospective adoptive parent can have five occasions of paid time off for pre-adoption contact visits. The other adoptive parent can have two occasions of unpaid time off for the same reason.
  • The primary adopter of a child born through a surrogacy arrangement is entitled to take adoption leave and pay provided a 'parental order' has been applied for. The primary adopter can end their adoption leave early and move onto shared parental leave.
To discuss any matter relating to employment law, please contact Chris Wiper on 01325 466461 or email him

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