What is Shared Parental Leave?

The aim of shared parental leave is to enable parents to share leave from work following the birth or adoption of a child in a flexible way. Maternity and adoption leave still operate in the same way as before, so an employed mother can still take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave if she wishes. Alternatively, she can ‘curtail’ her maternity leave to create weeks of shared parental leave that can be taken by either the mother herself or her partner if they both satisfy eligibility and notice criteria. Parents can take shared parental leave at the same time or consecutively and, unlike maternity and adoption leave, shared parental leave can be taken in discontinuous blocks.

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