Is there a time limit on Shared Parental Leave or can you save it up and use it when your child is older?

Shared Parental Leave must be used within a year of a child’s birth or adoption.

However, in addition, each parent has a right to take up to 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave to look after a child (capped at a maximum of four weeks in each year), up to the child’s 18th birthday. There is a separate allocation of 18 weeks for each child.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.