Shared parental leave policy

Published: 09 April 2023
Freedom of information class: How we manage our resources

This policy sets out the rights of employees to shared parental leave and pay.

1. Overview

Shared parental leave is a type of leave that is available to parents with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 or where an adoption placement takes place on or after 5 April 2015. The amount of shared parental leave and pay will be comparable to that of RoS maternity policy.

You can start shared parental leave (SPL), if you're eligible, and you or your partner end maternity or adoption leave or pay early. The remaining leave will be available as SPL and shared parental pay (ShPP).

You can share the leave with your partner if they're also eligible for SPL, and choose how much of the leave each of you will take.

2. Eligibility - Leave

To qualify for SPL, you must share care of the child with either:

  • your husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
  • the child's other parent
  • your partner (if they live with you and the child)

You or your partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave or maternity allowance or adoption pay or leave.

You must also:

  • have been employed continuously with RoS (or wider Civil Service) for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or by the date you are matched with your adopted child)
  • be employed by RoS (or Civil Service) while you take SPL
  • give the correct notice including a declaration that your partner meets the employment and income requirements

Your partner's eligibility

During the 66 weeks before the baby is due your partner must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they don't need to be in a row)
  • have earned at least £30 a week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks

They can be employed, self-employed or an agency worker.

3. Eligibility - Pay

Statutory Shared Parental Pay

You will also qualify for statutory ShPP if one of the following applies:

  • you qualify for statutory maternity pay or statutory adoption pay
  • you qualify for statutory paternity pay and have a partner who qualifies for statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance or statutory adoption pay

Occupational Shared Parental Pay

You will also qualify for occupational shared parental pay if you have at least one year’s continuous service with RoS (or Civil Service). Occupational ShPP tops up your statutory ShPP so that you receive your usual full pay.

4. Your entitlement

If you're eligible and you or your partner end maternity or adoption leave and pay (or maternity allowance) early, then you can take:


Up to 52 weeks of leave is available for the mother. The partner can take up to 50 weeks leave.

The mother must take a minimum of 2 weeks' maternity leave following the birth (4 if she works in a factory).


If you are the mother you may take up to 52 weeks occupational ShPP or if you are the partner you may take up to 50 weeks (48 weeks if the mother works in a factory) occupational ShPP providing that you meet the qualifying criteria.

Where you satisfy the eligibility criteria for this benefit, you will be required to confirm in writing that you agree to repay any occupational shared parental pay received (less any statutory ShPP), should you decide not to return to work and complete the equivalent of one month’s paid service following your shared parental leave, consecutive unpaid special leave or consecutive career break. You will be asked to confirm this by signing a "statement of Intention and undertaking to repay aalary".

Should you only qualify for statutory ShPP this is paid at a set rate per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower and is only payable for a maximum of 39 weeks.

5. Starting your leave

You or your partner can only start shared parental leave (SPL) once the child has been born or adopted. The mother or adopter must have either:

  • ended any maternity or adoption leave by returning to work
  • given 'binding notice' (a decision that can't normally be changed) to their employer of the date when they plan to end any maternity or adoption leave
  • ended maternity pay or maternity allowance (if they're not entitled to maternity leave, e.g. they're an agency worker or self-employed)

The mother or adopter must give notice to their employer (at least 8 weeks) to end maternity or adoption pay, or to Jobcentre Plus to end maternity allowance.

You can start SPL while your partner is still on maternity or adoption leave as long as they've given binding notice to end it.

A mother can't return to work before the end of the compulsory 2 weeks of maternity leave following the birth (4 weeks if she works in a factory).

What you must do

You must give RoS written notice of your entitlement to SPL and ShPP, including:

  • your partner's name
  • start and end dates for maternity or adoption leave and pay
  • the total amount of SPL and ShPP available and how much you and your partner intend to take
  • confirmation that you're sharing childcare responsibility with your partner

You must also include a signed declaration from your partner stating:

  • their name, address and National Insurance number
  • that they satisfy the qualifying requirements for SPL and ShPP
  • that they agree to you taking SPL and ShPP

After receiving this notice, RoS has 14 days to ask for (if required):

  • a copy of the child's birth certificate
  • the name and address of your partner's employer
  • You must provide this information within 14 days.

Notice period

You must give at least 8 weeks' notice of any leave you wish to take.

If the child is born more than 8 weeks early, this notice period can be shorter.

You have the right to book a maximum of 3 separate blocks of leave.

Cancelling the decision to end maternity or adoption leave

The mother or adopter may be able to change their decision to end maternity or adoption leave early if both:

  • the planned end date hasn't passed
  • they haven't already returned to work

One of the following must also apply:

  • you find out during the 8-week notice period that neither of you is eligible for SPL or ShPP
  • the mother or adopter's partner has died
  • the mother tells her employer less than 6 weeks after the birth (and she gave notice before the birth)

6. Blocks of leave

You can book up to 3 separate blocks of shared parental leave (SPL) instead of taking it all in one go, even if you aren't sharing the leave with your partner. There are two types of blocks of leave you can apply for. These are known as continuous leave and discontinuous leave.

Continuous leave is a period of leave within one notice that has no breaks. For example you could submit a notice from February to June. This type of leave must be accepted by your line manager.

Discontinuous leave is a period of leave in one notice that has a number of leave and return to work dates. For example you may request month on month off. This type of leave must be negotiated with your line manager who has the right to refuse this request.

If your partner is eligible for SPL, you can take leave at different times - or both at the same time.

You must give your line manager at least 8 weeks' notice before you want to begin a block of leave.

7. SPLIT days

You can work up to 20 days during shared parental leave. These are called 'shared parental leave in touch' (or SPLIT) days.

These days are in addition to the 10 'keeping in touch' (or KIT) days already available to those on maternity or adoption leave.

Keeping in touch days are optional - both you and your line manager must agree to them.

Pay during SPLIT days

If you carry out work while in receipt of occupational shared parental pay you won't get a further payment. (You're already receiving full pay.)

If you carry out work while in receipt of statutory shared parental pay or nil pay, you will get a top-up for that day (so that you receive your full pay).

We count any day that you work during shared parental leave as a whole SPLIT day, up to the 20-day maximum. For example, we will consider you to have used up a whole SPLIT day even if you only come to work for a one-hour training session.

You must let Human Resources know about any days that you attend work as part of a SPLIT arrangement.

8. Pension information

Periods of paid shared parental leave reckon for pension purposes. Periods of unpaid shared parental leave qualify but do not reckon for pension purposes.

Added years or added pension

If you are paying 'added years' or 'added pension' contributions you should contact the pension provider MyCSP on 08700 100 597 for advice about the impact on your benefits.

9. Annual appraisal

If you work for more than three months of the reporting year, you will receive an annual appraisal.

If you have not worked for at least three months due to shared parental leave, you will receive the same performance appraisal marking as you received in the previous year.

10. Annual leave

Subject to line management approval, annual leave may be taken immediately before or after a period of shared parental leave.

Periods of shared parental leave do not affect your annual leave entitlement. You will accrue annual leave as normal whilst on shared parental leave.

11. Approval and review

This policy will be reviewed and approved by the Policy and Practice Group annually, unless earlier review is appropriate.

Author HROD team - Employee Relations
Reviewed Head of People and Change
Cleared Director of People
Approval PPG
Approval date Existing policy
Policy version 1.0
Review responsibility PPG
Review date April 2024
Suitable for publication Y