Shared Parental Leave and Pay – some examples

We’ve prepared some examples to cut through the complexity of Shared Parental Leave. You might find this helpful if your circumstances are similar to anyone in the examples.


SMP = statutory maternity pay

MA = maternity allowance

SPL = shared parental leave

ShPP = statutory shared parental pay

Click on each box to expand

1. Lucy lost her job whilst pregnant. She had been working for 4 years earning £13,000 as a care assistant. She will get Maternity Allowance (MA), but not SMP. She lost her job when she was 20 weeks’ pregnant. Her partner Barclay has 11 years service as a bus driver earning £350 a week.
Barclay has entitlement to SPL and ShPP if Lucy curtails her MA, but Lucy does not.
2. Surinder is a pharmacist employed for 10 years, earning £25,000. Husband Karl is employed but started a new job 4 months ago.
Surinder can take SPL and ShPP but Karl has no entitlement; any SPL/ShPP reduces the length of maternity leave and pay.
3. Pei is self-employed. His partner Fabian has been employed for 5 years with a large bank and earns £50,000. They are adopting a child.
Fabian can take SPL and ShPP but Pei has no entitlement; any SPL/ShPP reduces the length of adoption leave and pay.
4. Maxine and John are both employees. Maxine is a teacher with 7 years’ service earning £30,000 and John is a veterinary nurse with 4 years’ service on £15,000. They are hoping to have a baby by a surrogate mother.
Both Maxine and John could take SPL and ShPP.
5. Sue and Tracey live in Wales. They are both self-employed, paying Class 2 National Insurance. Sue is having a baby, due in August 2015, and Tracey is her civil partner.
Sue could get Maternity Allowance but Tracey has no entitlement. Neither of them can take SPL or ShPP because they are not employed or paying Class 1 National Insurance.
6. Shah is employed and has worked for his employer for 10 years earning £13,000. His partner Nadia is a self-employed hairdresser. They are expecting a baby in May 2015.
Only Shah is entitled to ShPP and SPL, if Nadia curtails her MA.
7. Nabeela works for an agency with 2 years’ service and earning approximately £300 per week. She is a single parent. Can she choose SPL and ShPP because the agency will be busy a few weeks after her baby is born so she would like to stop her SMP, work for a few weeks and then take ShPP.
Nabeela is entitled to SMP only. There is no entitlement to ShPP or SPL for parents without partners; it’s not because Nabeela works for an agency.
8. Justin is 18 and is an apprentice earning about £90 a week. He has been with his employer for 1 year. His partner Paige is at college and she is expecting their baby. She has a part-time job with a large retailer, where she has been for 2 years, earning £80 per week. They don’t live together, but Justin intends to be fully involved in bringing up their child.
Both Paige and Justin could take SPL but not ShPP (they don’t earn enough). SPL will reduce the length of maternity leave and MA for Paige.


Will Hadwen, Working Families

About SPLash

SPLash (SPL advice on sharing) has been created by an alliance of organisations with expertise in employment law and issues affecting parents at work. Its purpose is the sharing of knowledge and best practice on shared parental leave.



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