What is shared parental leave?

Shared parental leave (SPL) is a statutory regime introduced in 2015 to help parents to share leave between them after birth or adoption. Both maternity and adoption leave can be shared. Shared adoption rights are available to men and women and to same sex and heterosexual couples.

The mother or 'primary adopter' must take the first two weeks of maternity or adoption leave. She can then choose to share up to 50 weeks of the leave with her partner by opting into the SPL regime. SPL must be taken within a year of the birth (or matching for adoption).

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.

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