New online tool to check parental leave entitlement
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has devised a new online tool which is intended to help expectant parents work out how best to manage their leave. The tool will allow parents to check eligibility and pay entitlement with the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme.
Parents will be able to check their eligibility for the scheme (at https://www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay) and calculate their pay entitlement (at https://www.gov.uk/plan-shared-parental-leave-pay), as well as downloading all the documents they need to secure leave from their employer.
Shared Parental Leave and Pay allows working parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year of their child’s life (or within a year of placement if the child is adopted).
Parents are able to agree a pattern of leave that works for them and their employer, and can take leave and pay in up to three blocks (more if their employer agrees), returning to work between periods of leave. If they wish eligible parents can spend up to six months off work together or alternatively stagger their leave and pay so that one of them is always at home with their child in the first year.
The clarity provided by this new government tool could encourage the take-up of SPL – which up until now has had a low uptake; it is thought that this might be due to its complexity.