Flowchart: Requesting discontinuous leave

A request for discontinuous leave is one where in a single notice, an employee requests more than one period of SPL For example, an employee issues a notice requesting 4 weeks’ SPL, that they return to work for 4 weeks and take a further 4 weeks’ SPL.

For more information see the Factsheet on discontinuous leave.

Discontinuous leave chart


1) Anne and her husband are having a child and whilst Anne would like to be at home for the first few months she works in a shop and knows that she will be able to earn more money (tips and commissions) during the Christmas period compared to the rest of the year. Anne sends a formal request to her employer to work this pattern. She discusses the situation with her employer and explains that she is thinking about taking leave in September, October and November, will work December (while family will be around to help with the care of the child), and will then take SPL again in January. The employer agrees with Anne’s request, especially as it takes into account the needs of the business.

2) Amy and her partner are adopting a child and whilst her partner will take the main caring role, Amy would like to be at home for the first three months and then every other week. Amy requested from her employer to take three months of shared parental leave and then to work every other week for the following three months. After the 14 days discussion period, her employer refused this request because that would cause too much disruption to the business. By day 15 Amy decided to withdraw the request and present a new one, this time for a continuous block of shared parental leave.


Audrey Williams, Fox Williams LLP


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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