When you become a parent it is often difficult to keep up with what your entitled to and what your not, quite often its all too new to us and takes some reading up to ensure we take the amount of leave where we are entitled.
From April 5th 2015, a new entitlement comes into force and it means that parents of babies born or due on or after 5th April or parents adopting children can share the care of the child in the first year. As a single parent I took a whole 9 months of maternity leave myself and it gave me time to spend with my child before I had to return to work. At the moment a father is entitled to 2 weeks paternity leave after the birth of a child and the father misses out on some special moments of the babies first year due to work commitments. A childs first year is something you will never get back!
So when the new entitlement comes into force, it means that in the 66 weeks before the birth of your child you must have worked for 26 weeks or more (it doesn't need to be all in one block) earning at least £30 for 13 of those weeks and you share the care of the child with another parent then your likely to be entitled for SPL.
It really simple to work out how much SPL you can take, If the mother is going to take 4 weeks off before the birth of the baby and a further 6 weeks after the birth of the child (or adoption) then that is 10 weeks maternity leaves used up and then the other parent can start Shared parental leave and have time to bond with the child. The father can then take 42 weeks of parental leave or it can be split again, the father to take 20 weeks and the mother to take the last 22 weeks before the child turns a year old.
This is an extremely important move forward for working parents as it means that quite often the mother is the main wage earner and she can get back to work as soon as she see's fit and the child is then left with the partner instead of a childminder or nanny. You can get more details here including an infographic, explaining it in an easy way for all to understand.
Many thanks to blog.gotomeeting.co.uk for the advice that I am able to share with my readers and more importantly raise awareness for the help in ensuring parents are able to make the use of Shared Parental Leave.