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If a child is born (or adopted) on or after 5 April 2015, the parents will be entitled to share the 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of maternity pay or allowance, which is currently only available to the mother. The shared entitlement won’t initially apply in Northern Ireland as the Assembly still needs to pass the relevant legislation.

As an employer you need to be prepared to process the claims to share leave and pay from your employees, and report details of shared statutory parental pay in your RTI reports.

The parents have to give 8 weeks’ notice for a period of shared parental leave, which can be taken at any time within the child’s first year (or first year after adoption). Both the leave and pay must be taken in blocks of full weeks, but they can start on any day of the week.

The parents need to self-certify that they both meet the following conditions for shared parental leave:

  •  they must have either been employed or self-employed in the UK for at least 26 of the 66 weeks prior to the child’s birth/adoption
  •  their earnings must average at least £30 each for 13 of the 26 weeks (minimum).

To qualify for the shared entitlements, the parents must have earned an average salary of at least the lower earnings limit (£112 for 2015/16), during the 8 weeks prior to the 15th week before the expected birth date.  This threshold must be met by both parents if the statutory pay is to be shared.

You don’t have to check the facts supplied on self-certified claims by parents, but you must record the name and NI number of the other parent (who is not your employee), who is sharing the leave/pay and report that to HMRC.

Please do get in touch with us on 01782 279615 if you have any queries at all. We’re happy to help.