Shared Parental leave

A shared system of parental leave and pay will be put in place for those employees where the expected week of childbirth starts on or after 5 April 2015. The mother will only be allowed to take the first two weeks of leave after childbirth whilst the remainder can then be shared between both parents. Eligible employees will be entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks' leave and 39 weeks' statutory pay upon the birth or adoption of a child, which can be shared between the parents.

Abolition of additional paternity leave

The new shared parental leave rules means that additional paternity leave is no longer available where the expected week of childbirth will be on or after 5 April 2015.

Changes to adoption leave

No longer requirement for 26 weeks' service before employees become entitled to adoption leave.

Both single and joint adopters will have the right to attend adoption appointments and will be protected from suffering a detriment or being dismissed in relation to exercising that right.

Statutory adoption pay will be the same rate as statutory maternity pay.

Adoptive parents will also be able to take shared parental leave.

Unpaid parental leave extended

Those parents with one years employment are entitled to take unpaid parental leave of up to 18 weeks. The age of a child up to which unpaid parental leave may be taken, will be increased from the child's fifth birthday up to the child's eighteenth birthday.