Another legislative change to the way employers deliver leave and pay to new parents is gradually coming into force.
The first stage is from October 2014, when there are new rights to time off for fathers and the right to attend two antenatal appointments.
From April 2015, things start to get complicated. For people adopting, the right to Shared Parental Leave (ShPL) begins from day one of employment and the process and calculation of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) will mirror the process of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).
In addition, and probably key to these wide-ranging changes, is the replacement of Additional Paternity Leave (APL) coupled with the introduction of ShPL and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). There are new rights whereby eligible couples can share leave and pay, with the mother having to take the first two weeks leave allowing the couple to have the option of sharing the remaining 50 weeks leave and what remains of 39 weeks' pay. To add to the complexity, leave can be taken in one week blocks discontinuously (subject to at least 8 weeks notice).
A mother and her partner are both eligible for ShPL. The mother ends her maternity leave after 12 weeks, leaving 40 weeks (of the total 52 week entitlement) available for ShPL. She takes 30 weeks and her partner takes the other 10 weeks.
There is a great deal of detail for employers to consider that will not necessarily have a direct impact on payroll, such as the introduction of SPLITS (Statutory Paternity Leave Keeping In Touch days), new documentation (e.g. form ShPL1) and rights that employers have to refuse certain requests. The Government have now issued a comprehensive on-line guide containing a wealth of useful information here
PSC has adapted systems to cope with these changes, allowing clients to pass on the statutory payment issues surrounding these complex changes to us. Employers may begin to receive applications for Shared Parental Leave in January 2015 for babies due after 5th April 2015.