The Government has published its response to the consultation on the administration of the new shared parental leave and pay system following its confirmation that new arrangements for shared parental leave and pay were on the radar for the current Government.
The Government has already provided for change within the Children and Families Bill currently before Parliament but in order to implement the changes the Government will draft regulations which will be published in draft before the Bill receives Royal Assent.
The highlights for both employers and employees are:
- Alignment of the notice period for paternity pay with that of paternity leave to avoid the current situations where there are differing periods of notice. This will reduce the administrative burden for employers and simplify things for employees;
- The cut off period will be 6 weeks after birth for mothers wishing to revoke their notice to end maternity leave which was given pre-birth;
- The time limit for using share parental leave will be 52 weeks from birth;
- A provision for up to 20 Keeping in touch (KIT) days per parent to use whilst on shared parental leave;
- The right to return to the same job will be maintained for employees returning from any period of leave that totals 26 weeks or less in aggregate, even if that leave is taken in discontinuous blocks;
- Employees will be required to provide the same mandatory information (name and NI number of mother and pay/allowance taken) when opting into the shared parental leave system as is currently required for those wishing to use additional paternity leave;
- The notice period for an employee to notify a specific period of leave will be at 8 weeks including 2 weeks for a discussion period;
- Employees will have to provide a non-binding indication of their expected pattern of leave as part of their notification as to eligibility and their intention to take shared parental leave;
- There will be a limitation of three notifications for periods of leave to be taken including changes to dates already agreed. However, changes that are mutually agreed do not count and employers have a discretion on whether to accept notifications beyond this cap.
You can read the full response to the consultation here.