SOAS University of London

Human Resources

Shared Parental Leave

Contents
  1. Summary
  2. Definitions
  3. Scope
  4. Amount of shared parental leave available
  5. Eligibility for statutory shared parental leave
  6. Amount of shared parental pay available
  7. Eligibility for statutory shared parental pay
  8. Notice Requirements
  9. Limit on number of requests for leave
  10. Continuous period of shared parental leave
  11. Discontinuous periods of shared parental leave
  12. Rights during shared parental leave
  13. Contact during shared parental leave
  14. Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days
  15. Returning to work following shared parental leave
  16. Early Birth
  17. Death of the child before or during birth, or within the first year
  18. Partner no longer caring for child
  19. Death of a parent during the child’s first year
  20. Multiple births/adoptions
  21. Flexible working arrangements
  22. Pension
  23. App 1 ‘Notice of entitlement and intention’

1. Summary

  • Shared parental leave enables primary carers to commit to ending their maternity/adoption leave and to share the untaken balance of leave and pay as shared parental leave and pay with their partner or to return to work early from maternity/adoption leave and opt in to shared parental  leave and pay at a later date;
  • Shared parental leave is designed to give parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following the birth; 
  • The primary carer and their partner can share the full 52 week entitlement to leave if they have adopted a child, or 50 weeks in the case of a birth (mothers are obliged to take two weeks’ leave following birth). The leave can be shared from the birth or placement of your child up to its first birthday or during the first year of placement; 
  • The primary carer and their partner can decide to be off work at the same time and/or take in turns to have periods of leave to look after their child;
  • Leave can be booked either in single continuous blocks or in discontinuous blocks, where you return to work in between periods of leave;
  • To be eligible for statutory shared parental pay, both the primary carer and their partner must meet certain eligibility requirements.

2. Definitions

The following definitions are used in this policy:

"Primary carer" means the mother or expectant mother of the child, the adoptive parent who intends to take adoption leave, or the parent in a surrogacy arrangement who intends to take surrogacy leave.

"Partner" means the father of the child or the secondary adopter, or the person who, at the date of the child's birth or adoption, is married to, the civil partner of, or the partner of the primary carer. This includes someone, of either sex, who lives with the primary carer and the child in an enduring family relationship but who is not the primary carer's child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

"Expected week of childbirth" means the week, starting on a Sunday, during which the primary carer's doctor or midwife expects her to give birth.

3. Scope

This policy applies in relation to employees of the School, whether they are the primary carer or the partner. If it is the primary carer who is employed by the School, their partner must (where relevant) submit any notifications to take shared parental leave set out in this policy to their own employer, which may have its own shared parental leave policy in place, if he/they wants to take a period of shared parental leave.

Similarly, if it is the partner who is employed by the School, the primary carer must (where relevant) submit any notifications to take shared parental leave to their own employer.

The primary carer and the partner should ensure that they are each liaising with their own employer to ensure that requests for shared parental leave are handled as smoothly as possible.

4. Amount of shared parental leave available

The amount of shared parental leave to which an individual is entitled will depend on when the primary carer brings their maternity/adoption leave period to an end and the amount of leave that the other parent takes in respect of the child.

Shared parental leave must be taken in blocks of at least one week.

The employee can request to take shared parental leave in one continuous block (in which case the School is required to accept the request as long as the employee meets the eligibility and notice requirements), or as a number of discontinuous blocks of leave (in which case the employee needs the School's agreement).

A maximum of three requests for leave can normally be made by both the primary carer and their partner.

The first two weeks following birth are the compulsory maternity leave period and are reserved for the mother. This means that the mother cannot curtail her maternity leave to take shared parental leave until two weeks after the birth and the maximum period that the parents could take as shared parental leave is 50 weeks between them (although it will normally be less than this because of the maternity leave that mothers usually take before the birth).

However, the mother's partner can begin a period of shared parental leave at any time from the date of the child's birth.

The two week compulsory period does not apply to adoptions. The primary carer and/or their partner can begin a period of shared parental leave at any time from the date on which the child is placed for adoption.

Birth and adoptive parents should bear in mind that the partner is entitled to take up to two weeks' partner/paternity leave following the birth or adoption of their child, which they will lose if shared parental leave is taken first.

The primary carer and partner must take any shared parental leave within 52 weeks of birth.

5. Eligibility for statutory shared parental leave

For employees to be eligible to take shared parental leave, both parents must meet certain eligibility requirements.

5.1 If the SOAS employee is the primary carer:

The primary carer is eligible for shared parental leave if they:

  • has at least 26 weeks' continuous employment with the School, (ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth/ by the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched for adoption with the child) and remains in continuous employment with the School until the week before any period of shared parental leave that they take;
  • has, at the date of the child's birth, the main responsibility, apart from the partner, for the care of the child;
  • is entitled to statutory maternity/adoption leave in respect of the child; and
  • complies with the relevant maternity/adoption leave curtailment requirements (or has returned to work before the end of statutory maternity/adoption leave), and shared parental leave notice and evidence requirements.

In addition, for the primary carer to be eligible for shared parental leave, the partner must:

  • Have been employed or been a self-employed earner in at least 26 of the 66 weeks immediately preceding the expected week of childbirth/ by the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched for adoption with the child;
  • Have average weekly earnings of at least the maternity allowance threshold for any 13 of those 66 weeks; and
  • Have, at the date of the child's birth, the main responsibility, apart from the primary carer, for the care of the child.
5.2 If the SOAS employee is the partner:

The partner is eligible for shared parental leave if he/they:

  • Has at least 26 weeks' continuous employment with the School, (ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth/ by the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched for adoption with the child)  and remains in continuous employment with the School until the week before any period of shared parental leave that they take;
  • Has, at the date of the child's birth, the main responsibility, apart from the primary carer, for the care of the child; and
  • Complies with the relevant shared parental leave notice and evidence requirements.

In addition, for the partner to be eligible for shared parental leave, the primary carer must:

  • Have been employed or been a self-employed earner during at least 26 of the 66 weeks immediately preceding the expected week of childbirth;
  • Have average weekly earnings of at least the maternity allowance threshold for any 13 of those 66 weeks;
  • Have, at the date of the child's birth, the main responsibility, apart from the partner, for the care of the child;
  • Be entitled to statutory maternity/adoption leave, statutory maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance in respect of the child; and
  • Comply with the relevant maternity/adoption leave or pay curtailment requirements (or have returned to work before the end of statutory maternity/adoption leave).

6. Amount of shared parental pay available

Dependent on length of continuous employment with the School (ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth/by the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched for adoption with the child), there are three provisions available: Occupational Shared Parental Pay, Enhanced Shared Parental Pay or Statutory Shared Parental Pay The number of weeks' shared parental pay available to the parents will depend on how much maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance the primary carer has been paid when their maternity/adoption leave or pay period ends.

A total of 39 weeks' maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance is available to the primary carer.

As there is a compulsory maternity leave period of two weeks, this means that a primary carer who ends her maternity leave at the earliest opportunity could share up to 37 weeks' statutory shared parental pay with her partner (although it will normally be less than this because of the maternity leave that primary carers usually take before the birth).

Any shared parental pay due during shared parental leave will be paid at the following rate according to length of continuous service:

6.1 Option 1 (Occupational Shared Parental Pay) – employees with 52 weeks’ service at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or by the week in which notification of matching was given by the adoption agency

Employees who have been continuously employed by SOAS for at least 52 weeks at the end of the qualifying week and are still employed during that week, will be eligible for Occupational Shared Parental Pay, providing that:

  • the mother is still pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the expected week of childbirth (or have already given birth);
  • they have provided a MAT B1 form stating the expected week of childbirth; and
  • they intend to return to work with the School at the end of their shared parental leave;         

Or

  • the week in which notification of matching was given by the adoption agency or for surrogacy, at the 15th week before the baby is due;
  • they have provided the relevant supporting documentation.

Occupational shared parental pay is due for 39 weeks, at the following rates:

  • 18 weeks' full pay;
  • 8 weeks’ half pay;
  • 13 weeks Statutory shared parental pay/parental allowance;
  • Followed by 13 weeks unpaid shared parental leave.

Occupational and statutory shared parental pay is treated as earnings and is therefore subject to PAYE and national insurance deductions.

On return from shared parental leave, either the primary carer or their partner will receive an additional 8 weeks full pay payable over 8 months (i.e. 1 additional week’s full pay per month), provided the employee receiving this payment has 52 weeks’ continuous service with SOAS at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth and has taken shared parental leave in accordance with this policy. Where the primary carer and partner both work for SOAS and both have over 52 weeks’ service, only one of them can receive the additional 8 weeks’ pay. 

If the employee receiving the additional 8 weeks’ pay resigns and leaves the School’s employment before the end of the 8-month period, or their employment ends, the additional payment will cease on the last day of service with the School.          

If an employee who has received occupational shared parental pay does not return to the work for a period of at least 3 months, s/he will be required to repay to the School the difference between the Occupational shared parental pay and Statutory shared parental pay.

6.2 Option 2 (Enhanced Shared Parental Pay) – employees with 38 to 52 weeks’ service at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or by the week in which notification of matching was given by the adoption agency

Employees who have been continuously employed by SOAS for at least 38 weeks at the end of the qualifying week and are still employed during that week, will be eligible for Enhanced Shared Parental Pay, providing that:

  • the mother is still pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the expected week of childbirth (or have already given birth);
  • they have provided a MAT B1 form stating their expected week of childbirth; and
  • they intend to return to work with the School at the end of their shared parental leave;      

Or

  • the week in which notification of matching was given by the adoption  agency or for surrogacy, at the 15th week before the baby is due;
  • they have provided the relevant supporting documentation.

Enhanced shared parental pay is due for 39 weeks, at the following rates:

  • 12 weeks' full pay;
  • 4 weeks’ half pay;
  • 23 weeks Statutory shared parental pay/Shared parental allowance;
  • Followed by 13 weeks unpaid shared parental leave.

Enhanced and statutory shared parental pay is treated as earnings and is therefore subject to PAYE and national insurance deductions.

If an employee who has received enhanced shared parental pay does not return to the work for a period of at least 3 months, s/he will be required to repay to the School the difference between the enhanced shared parental pay and statutory shared parental pay.

6.3 Option 3 (Statutory Shared Parental Pay) - employees with 26 weeks’ service at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

Employees who have been continuously employed by SOAS for at least 26 weeks at the end of the qualifying week and are still employed during that week, will qualify for statutory shared parental pay, providing that:

  • the mother is still pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the expected week of childbirth (or have already given birth);
  • they have provided a MAT B1 form stating their expected week of childbirth; and
  • their average weekly earnings are not less than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions.

Or

  • the week in which notification of matching was given by the adoption agency or for surrogacy, at the 15th week before the baby is due;
  • they have provided the relevant supporting documentation.

Statutory shared parental pay is payable for up to 39 weeks, at the following rates:

  • 6 weeks at 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings;
  • 33 weeks at a rate set by the Government for the relevant tax year, or at 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings, if this figure is lower than the Government's set weekly rate;
  • Followed by 13 weeks unpaid shared parental leave.

Statutory shared parental pay is treated as earnings and is therefore subject to PAYE and national insurance deductions.

Annual incremental increases due and any agreed cost of living awards will be applied to contractual salary during any period of shared parental leave.

Payment of statutory shared parental pay cannot start prior to the 11th week before the primary carer's expected week of childbirth. In the case of adoption it can start from the date the child starts living with the employee or up to 14 days before the date the child is expected to start living with the employee. Surrogacy leave can start the day the child is born, or the day after.

Statutory shared parental pay is payable whether or not the employee intends to return to work after her maternity leave.

It is up to the parents as to who is paid the statutory shared parental pay and how it is apportioned between them.

7. Eligibility for statutory shared parental pay

For employees to be eligible for statutory shared parental pay, both parents must meet certain eligibility requirements.

7.1 Primary carer's eligibility for statutory shared parental pay

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements to take shared parental leave listed above, the primary carer is eligible for statutory shared parental pay if they:

  • has normal weekly earnings for a period of eight weeks ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth/ by the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched for adoption with the child of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance contribution purposes;
  • is absent from work and intends to care for the child during each week in which they receives statutory shared parental pay; and
  • is entitled to statutory maternity/adoption pay in respect of the child, but the maternity/adoption pay period has been reduced.

In addition, for the primary carer to be eligible for statutory shared parental pay, the partner must meet the criteria as listed in the Eligibility for statutory shared parental leave section above.

7.2 Partner's eligibility for statutory shared parental pay

The partner is eligible for statutory shared parental pay if they:

  • have normal weekly earnings for eight weeks ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth/ by the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched for adoption with the child of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance contribution purposes;
  • is absent from work and intends to care for the child during each week in which he/they receives statutory shared parental pay.

In addition, for the partner to be eligible for statutory shared parental pay, the primary carer meets the criteria as listed in the Eligibility for statutory shared parental leave section above.

8. Notice requirements

The notices that the parents must give to the relevant employer to be able to take shared parental leave are made up of three elements. They are:

  1. A "maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice" from the primary carer setting out when they propose to end their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave (unless the primary carer has already returned to work from maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave);
  2. A "notice of entitlement and intention" from the employee giving an initial, non-binding indication of each period of shared parental leave that they are requesting; and
  3. A "period of leave notice" from the employee setting out the start and end dates of each period of shared parental leave that he/they is requesting.

The notice periods set out below (see Primary carer's notice curtailing maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave, Employee's notice of entitlement and intention and Employee's period of leave notice) are the minimum required by law. However, the earlier the employee informs the School of their intentions, the more likely it is that the School will be able to accommodate the employee's request, particularly if they want to take periods of discontinuous leave. Employees are advised that if they have already decided the pattern of shared parental leave that they would like to take, they can provide more than one type of notice at the same time.For example, the primary carer could provide a maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice, notice of entitlement and intention and a period of leave notice at the same time. Similarly, the partner could provide their notice of entitlement and intention and period of leave notice at the same time.

8.1 Primary carer's ‘maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice’

Before the primary carer or partner can take shared parental leave, the primary carer must either return to work before the end of their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave (by giving the required eight weeks' notice of their planned return) or provide their employer with a maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice. The maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice must be in writing and state the date on which maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave is to end. That date must be:

  • After the compulsory maternity leave period, which is the two weeks after birth (does not apply to adoptions or surrogacy);
  • At least eight weeks after the date on which the primary carer gave the maternity/adoption leave curtailment notice to the School; and
  • At least one week before what would be the end of the maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave period.

The primary carer must provide their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice at the same time they provides either their ‘notice of entitlement and intention’ or a declaration of consent and entitlement signed by the primary carer confirming that their partner has given their employer a notice of entitlement and intention (see Employee's notice of entitlement and intention below).

8.2 Revocation of maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice

The primary carer can withdraw their notice curtailing their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave in limited circumstances.

The withdrawal of a maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice must be in writing and can be given only if the primary carer has not returned to work. The primary carer can withdraw their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice if:

  • It is discovered that neither the primary carer nor the partner are entitled to shared parental leave or statutory shared parental pay and the primary carer withdraws their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice within eight weeks of the date on which the notice was given;
  • The maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice was given before the birth of the child and the primary carer withdraws their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave curtailment notice within six weeks of the child's birth; or
  • The partner has died.
8.3 ‘Notice of entitlement and intention’

The employee, whether the primary carer or the partner, must provide the School with a non-binding ‘notice of entitlement and intention’. The notice must be provided in writing at least eight weeks before the start date of the first period of shared parental leave to be taken by the employee. The notice must include the information as specified in Appendix 1. Within 14 days of receiving a notice of entitlement and intention from the employee, whether the primary carer or partner, the School can request from the employee:

1. a copy of the child's birth certificate (or, if the child has not been born, a copy of the birth certificate within 14 days of the birth - if the birth certificate has yet to be issued after this period, a signed declaration stating the date and location of the child's birth will suffice); Or

in relation to adoptions within the UK, documentary evidence from the adoption agency of: the name and address of the adoption agency; the date on which the adopter was notified of having been matched for adoption with the child; and

the date on which the adoption agency expects the child to be placed for adoption with the     adopter;

2. the name and address of the other parent's employer (or a declaration that the other parent has no employer).

The employee has 14 days from the date of the request to send the School the required information.

8.4 Variation or cancellation of notice of entitlement and intention

The employee can vary or cancel their proposed shared parental leave dates following the submission of a notice of entitlement and intention, provided that he/they provides the School with eight weeks’ written notice. The written notice must contain:

  • an indication as to when the employee intends to take shared parental leave (including the start and end dates for each period of leave);
  • details of any periods of shared parental leave that have been notified through a period of leave notice;
  • details of any periods of statutory shared parental pay that have been notified in relation to periods where shared parental leave was not to be taken; and
  • a declaration signed by the primary carer and the partner that they agree to the variation.

Any indication of leave intended to be taken that the employee provides in a variation of notice of entitlement and intention is non-binding until he/they provides a period of leave notice in relation to that period of leave. There is no limit on the number of variations of notice of entitlement and intention that the employee can make.

8.5 ‘Period of leave notice’

To take a period of shared parental leave, the employee must provide the School with a written notice setting out the start and end dates of each period of shared parental leave requested in that notice.

A ‘period of leave notice’ must be given not less than eight weeks before the start date of the first period of shared parental leave requested in the notice. The notice may be given at the same time as a notice of entitlement and intention and can be a request for a continuous period of leave or discontinuous periods of leave.

8.6 Variation or cancellation of ‘period of leave notice’

The employee can vary or cancel their proposed shared parental leave dates following the submission of a period of leave notice, provided that he/they provides their employer with a written notice not less than eight weeks before any period of leave varied or cancelled by the notice is due to commence. The written notice can:

  • vary the start date or the end date of any period of shared parental leave or cancel a request for leave;
  • request that a continuous period of leave become discontinuous periods of leave; or
  • request that discontinuous periods of leave become a continuous period of leave.

9. Limit on number of requests for leave

The employee can provide up to three period of leave notices or variations of period of leave notices per pregnancy/adoption, although the School may waive this limit in some circumstances.

10. Continuous period of shared parental leave

If the employee submits a ‘period of leave notice’ requesting one continuous period of leave, they will be entitled to take that period of leave.

11. Discontinuous periods of shared parental leave

The employee may submit a period of leave notice requesting discontinuous periods of leave. For example, the primary carer and partner could request a pattern of leave from their respective employers that allows them to alternate childcare responsibilities.

If the employee submits a period of leave notice requesting discontinuous periods of leave, the School, in the two weeks beginning with the date the period of leave notice was given, can:

1.    consent to the pattern of leave requested;

2.    propose an alternative pattern of leave; or

3.    refuse the pattern of leave requested.

If agreement is reached within those two weeks, the employee is entitled to take the leave on the dates agreed.

If no agreement has been reached within that two-week discussion period, the employee is entitled to take the leave as one continuous period of leave. In that event, the employee must choose a start date for the leave that is at least eight weeks from the date on which the period of leave notice was originally given. The employee must notify the School of that date within five days of the end of the two-week discussion period.

If the employee does not choose a start date within five days of the end of the two-week discussion period, the period of continuous leave will start on the date of the first period of leave requested in the period of leave notice.

Alternatively, if the School has refused the request or no agreement has been reached during the two-week discussion period, the employee may withdraw a period of leave notice requesting discontinuous periods of leave. The employee can withdraw a period of leave notice at any time on or before the 15th day after the period of leave notice was given.

A notice for discontinuous leave that has been withdrawn before it is agreed does not count towards the total number of requests for leave that an employee can make.

12. Rights during shared parental leave

During shared parental leave, all terms and conditions of the employee's contract except normal pay will continue. Salary will be replaced by statutory shared parental pay if the employee is eligible for it.

This means that, while sums payable by way of salary will cease, all other benefits will remain in place. For example, holiday entitlement will continue to accrue.

Pension contributions will continue to be paid.

13. Contact during shared parental leave

The School reserves the right to maintain reasonable contact with employees during shared parental leave. This may be to discuss employees' plans for their return to work, to discuss any special arrangements to be made or training to be given to ease their return to work or to update them on developments at work during their absence.

14. Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days

An employee can agree to work for the School (or to attend training) for up to 20 days during shared parental leave without that work bringing the period of their shared parental leave and pay to an end. These are known as "shared-parental-leave-in-touch" (SPLIT) days.

The School has no right to require employees to carry out any work and employees have no right to undertake any work during their shared parental leave.

An employee will be paid at their normal contractual rate for any SPLIT days. Any work carried out on a day will count as a whole working day e.g. attending work for a one hour meeting will count as one of the 20 days available.

15. Returning to work following shared parental leave

If an employee wishes to end a period of shared parental leave early, or extend shared parental leave (providing they have unused entitlement remaining), they should give the School 8 weeks’ written notice.  If the employee has already given 3 periods of leave notices, they will not be able to end shared parental leave early/extend shared parental leave without the School’s agreement.

The employee has the right to resume working in the same job when returning to work from shared parental leave if the period of leave, when added to any other period of shared parental leave, statutory maternity/adoption leave or statutory paternity leave taken by the employee in relation to the same child, is 26 weeks or less.

If the employee is returning to work from shared parental leave and the period of leave taken is more than 26 weeks, when added to:

  • any other period of shared parental leave; or
  • statutory maternity, adoption, surrogacy or paternity leave taken in relation to the same child; or
  • was the last of two or more consecutive periods of statutory leave that included a period of ordinary parental leave of more than four weeks; or
  • a period of additional maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave;

the employee has the right to return to the same job unless this is not reasonably practicable. In these circumstances, if it is not reasonably practicable for the School to permit a return to the same job, the employee has the right to return to another job that is suitable and appropriate for him/her.

16. Early Birth

If the child is born before their expected due date and the employee had booked to take SPL within the first eight weeks of the due date, they may take the same period of time off after the actual birth without having to provide eight weeks’ notice by submitting a notice to vary their leave as soon as is reasonably practicable. Unlike most other variation notices, this would not count as one of the employees’ three notifications.

Any leave arranged after the first eight weeks of the due date is still bound by the eight-week notice required to vary leave.

If the child is born more than eight weeks before their expected due date and the notice of entitlement to SPL and/or a notice to book SPL have not yet been given, then there is no requirement to give eight weeks’ notice before the period of leave starts.  The notices should be given as soon as is reasonably practicable after the actual birth.

17. Death of the child before or during birth, or within the first year

In the sad event that the child should die before the parents have submitted a notice of entitlement to take shared parental leave, they cannot then opt into shared parental leave because a qualifying condition is caring for a child.  

The primary carer will remain entitled to maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave and the primary carer’s partner could still qualify for statutory paternity leave.

If the parents have opted into shared parental leave and they have booked shared parental leave, they will still be entitled to take the booked leave.  No further notice of leave can be submitted and only one variation notice can be given in order to reduce a period of leave or to rearrange a discontinuous leave arrangement into a single block of leave.

An employee who is absent on shared parental leave may cancel agreed shared parental leave and return to work by giving the HR Directorate, HR-Operations@soas.ac.uk eight weeks’ notice of their return to work.

18. Partner no longer caring for child

If the circumstances of an employee who has booked shared parental leave changes and they will no longer be responsible for caring for the child, their entitlement to both shared parental leave and pay will immediately cease and they must inform the HR Directorate, HR-Operations@soas.ac.uk.

If the employee has any shared parental leave arranged within eight weeks of their entitlement ceasing, the School can still require them to take the time off if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to return to work, for example because cover has been arranged. 

Any weeks of shared parental leave arranged more than eight weeks in the future must be cancelled.

If the remaining parent will be continuing to care for the child then they will still be eligible to take their shared parental leave entitlement.  If the parent who is no longer caring for the child had any shared parental leave entitlement outstanding, the remaining parent will only be able to transfer it into their own entitlement if they can obtain the signed agreement of the other parent to a notice confirming a variation of leave entitlement.

19. Death of a parent during the child’s first year

In the sad event that the partner of an employee dies and the employee is taking, or is entitled to shared parental leave then they will continue to be eligible.  Any shared parental leave that was due to be taken by the deceased parent may be transferred to the other parent if the other parent is eligible for shared parental leave.

Should it be necessary for the other parent to take a further period of shared parental leave or to vary pre-agreed leave then notice should be given as soon as is reasonably practicable if eight weeks’ notice cannot be given.  If the parent has already given three notices to take leave they must be allowed to submit one further notice to book/amend shared parental leave.

20. Multiple births/adoptions

An employee is not entitled to extra shared parental leave or pay if they are expecting/adopting more than one child. 

21. Flexible working arrangements

Employees who wish to vary their working pattern on return from shared parental leave have the right to request flexible working.  All requests will be considered by the School in accordance with the Flexible Working Policy.

22. Pension

If an employee is a member of one of the School’s pension schemes, pension contributions will continue to be deducted during the paid period of shared parental leave (subject to scheme rules in force at the time of shared parental pay).

Contributions will be made on pay received.

Full pensionable service will accrue.

During unpaid shared parental leave, employees are not required to pay contributions, although an employee may wish to continue contributions in order to avoid a break in pensionable service. The period where no contributions are made will not count towards final pensionable service.

Death in service benefit will continue during the period of unpaid leave.

If the employee does not return to work after a period of shared parental leave, they will be treated as leaving the scheme on the last day contributions were paid.

Should the employee elect to pay the employee contributions during the period of unpaid leave, the School will pay the employer contributions.

Employees are encouraged to contact the Payroll and Pensions Manager if they are considering making contributions during the unpaid period. Contributions during the unpaid period must be arranged in advance.


APPENDIX 1

‘Notice of entitlement and intention’

If the SOAS employee is the primary carer

The notice of entitlement and intention must set out:

1.    the primary carer's name;

2.    the partner's name;

3.    the start and end dates of any statutory maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave taken or to be taken by the primary carer;

4.    the total amount of shared parental leave available;

5.    the child's expected week of birth and the child's date of birth (although, if the child has not yet been born, the date of birth can be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after birth, and before the first period of shared parental leave to be taken by the primary carer) or the date on which the adopter was notified of having been matched for adoption with the child;

6.    how much shared parental leave the primary carer and partner each intend to take; and

7.    a non-binding indication as to when the employee intends to take shared parental leave (including the start and end dates for each period of leave).

The primary carer's notice of entitlement and intention must include a declaration signed by her that:

1.    They satisfy, or will satisfy, the eligibility requirements to take shared parental leave;

2.    the information they give in the notice of entitlement and intention is accurate; and

3.    they will immediately inform the School if their ceases to care for the child.  

In addition, the primary carer's notice of entitlement and intention must include a declaration signed by their partner:

1.    specifying the partner's name, address, and national insurance number (or declaring that the partner does not have a national insurance number);

2.    declaring that the partner satisfies, or will satisfy, the conditions set out above (see Primary carer's eligibility for shared parental leave);

3.    declaring that the partner is the father of the child, or is married to, the civil partner of, or the partner of, the primary carer;

4.    declaring that the partner consents to the amount of leave that the primary carer intends to take; and

5.    declaring that the partner consents to the primary carer's employer processing the information in the partner's declaration.

If the SOAS employee is the partner

The partner's notice of entitlement and intention must set out:

1.    the partner's name;

2.    the primary carer's name;

3.    the start and end dates of any periods of statutory maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave, statutory maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance taken or to be taken by the primary carer;

4.    the total amount of shared parental leave available;

5.    the child's expected week of birth and the child's date of birth (although, if the child has not yet been born, the date of birth can be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after birth, and before the first period of shared parental leave to be taken by the partner);

6.    how much shared parental leave the partner and primary carer each intend to take; and

7.    a non-binding indication as to when the partner intends to take shared parental leave (including the start and end dates for each period of leave).    

The partner's notice of entitlement and intention must include a declaration signed by the partner that:

1.    they satisfy, or will satisfy, the eligibility requirements to take shared parental leave;

2.    the information given by the partner in the notice of entitlement and intention is accurate; and

3.    they will immediately inform the School if they cease to care for the child or if the primary carer informs them that they no longer meets the requirement to have curtailed their maternity leave or pay period.     

In addition, the partner's notice of entitlement and intention must include a declaration signed by the primary carer:

1.    specifying the primary carer's name, address, and national insurance number (or declaring that the primary carer does not have a national insurance number);

2.    declaring that the primary carer satisfies, or will satisfy, the conditions set out above (see Partner's eligibility for shared parental leave) and they will notify the partner if they no longer qualify for maternity, adoption or surrogacy  leave, statutory maternity, adoption or surrogacy pay or maternity allowance;

3.    declaring that the primary carer consents to the amount of leave that the partner intends to take;

4.    declaring that they will immediately inform the employee if they no longer meets the requirement to have curtailed their maternity, adoption or surrogacy leave or pay period; and

5.    declaring that the primary carer consents to the partner's employer processing the information in the primary carer's declaration.

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