The College recognises the importance of providing a greater choice for parents in how they arrange parental care.   Shared Parental Leave provides eligible parents with the opportunity to choose to share between them the care of their child during the first year following their child’s birth or the placement of a child with them for adoption/following surrogacy.

The College’s Shared Parental Leave Policy is in line with all of the College’s family leave policies and is inclusive.  It applies to eligible parents irrespective of their gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression, biological sex or if they are transitioning.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Change Management policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers or eligibility have any regard to an individual’s sexual orientation .

This guidance has been designed to act as a point of reference.  For further details please refer to the full policy which can be downloaded from this page's sidebar.

What is Shared Parental Leave?

Where a member of staff meets the Shared Parental Leave eligibilty and pay entitlements [PDF] requirements, they and their partner can choose to convert part of their (or their partner’s)  man and woman holding baby Maternity/Adoption Leave and Pay to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Shared Parental Pay. The member of staff and their partner can then share the remaining period of SPL and pay between them, for example taking it in turns to have periods of leave, and/or taking leave at the same time.

Where one parent works for the College, they will be entitled to the leave and pay arrangements provided by the College, while their partner will be entitled to the leave and pay arrangements as set out by their own employer.  Where both parents meet the eligibility requirements, and both work for the College, they will be able to share the leave and pay arrangements provided by the College. 

What steps need to be completed?

Discuss your member of staff’s leave plans with them as early as possible

  • You should arrange an informal meeting with your member of staff when they submit their “Shared Parental Leave Notice of Entitlement Form”, or earlier if they have indicated that they are planning to opt in to Shared Parental Leave.
  • Such discussions will help you to understand at an early stage the leave plans your member of staff is considering, and provide an opportunity to explore with them how their plans might be accommodated.   

Providing formal notice of intention to take Shared Parental Leave

 Your staff member will need to:

  • (Where they are the birth parent or primary adopter) bring their Maternity/Adoption Leave and Pay to an end. They can do this by:
    • Sending you and your HR contact written confirmation that they wish to end their Maternity/Adoption Leave and Pay at least eight weeks before they wish to start Shared Parental Leave (this can be by e-mail or letter); or
    • By returning to work.

AND

  • (In all cases) complete a Shared Parental Leave notification‌, to confirm that they and their partner meet the eligibility requirements, and send this to you, and their HR contact at least eight weeks before they wish to start Shared Parental Leave.

 What you need to do:

  • Arrange to meet with your staff member informally to discuss their leave plans. 

 Your HR contact will:

  • Be available to you, and your staff member, if you have any questions about entitlements to Shared Parental Leave.
  • Following receipt of the Notice of Entitlement, check the information provided by your staff member, and provide written confirmation of their entitlements. 

 

 

Submitting requests for Shared Parental Leave

Your staff member will need to:

  • Complete a Shared Parental Leave notification form with the details of the leave they wish to take and send this to you and your HR representative at least eight weeks before they wish to start their period of leave.

 What you need to do:

  • Where your staff member requests leave under the “College Scheme”they must confirm their leave pattern for the full period of Shared Parental Leave with you (and in some circumstances must obtain your approval) before they start taking Shared Parental Leave.
    • Where the requested pattern includes up to three start and end dates, no further approval will be required.  You will just need to sign the form and forward it to your HR representative. 
    • Where the requested pattern includes more than three start and end dates, you will need to consider whether you can agree to their request.
  • Where your staff member requests leave under the “Statutory Scheme”, they can submit up to three requests for leave over the course of their Shared Parental Leave period. 
    • Similar to the College Scheme above, whether your agreement is required will depend on requested pattern of leave (i.e. up to three start and end dates, or more than three start and end dates).   
  • Where your agreement is required:
    • If you are able to accommodate the request, sign the Notification Form, and send it to your HR representative.
    • If you are not able to accommodate the request, there are a number of options, including exploring alternatives with your staff member.  You can speak to your HR representative if you need advice and guidance in this situation. 

Your HR contact will:

  • Be available to provide policy advice and support.
  • Will write to the staff member to confirm their leave arrangements, or the next steps if their requested pattern is not approved.

Taking Shared Parental Leave

You will need to:

  • (Before your staff member starts Shared Parental Leave) discuss with them arrangements for staying in touch (for example the best way to make contact, and how often), and the types of things they want to be kept up to date about.
  • With your agreement, your staff member may also attend work or training for up to 20 days during their Shared Parental Leave. 

 

What support is available to me?

1. Support for you:

  • Your HR representative will be available to provide advice, and will assist you with administration related to Shared Parental Leave

 Support for your staff member:

  • Your HR representative will assist with any queries relating to Shared Parental Leave.
  • Information on College support for staff following Shared Parental Leave is available on the HR webpages.

Need to know more?