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How much shared parental leave are you entitled to?


  • Fathers and partners have a right to take unpaid leave to attend up to two antenatal appointments.
  • Employees are protected from detriment or unfair dismissal in connection with taking SPL.
  • 2 weeks is compulsory maternity leave for the mother after the birth.
  • Must give at least 8 weeks notice before a block of leave begins through the “period of leave notice”.
  • Can take one continuous period of SPL, – employer cannot change this.
  • Can take “discontinuous period” of up to 3 separate blocks – has to be agreed with employer.
  • Can be taken together or at different times.
  • Can be taken at any time before the child’s first birthday or before the first anniversary of an adoption placement.

Up to 50 weeks’ shared parental leave can be shared between the parents. The amount of shared parental leave that the parents can take between them is 52 weeks, minus the amount of maternity leave taken by the mother. The compulsory maternity leave period is reserved for the mother, therefore the mother cannot end her maternity leave until two weeks after the birth. A partner can begin a period of shared parental leave at any time from the date of the child’s birth. All leave must be taken within the first 52 weeks following the birth

Employees can choose to take Shared Parental Leave  if they’re eligible and they or their partner end their maternity or adoption leave or pay early. The remaining leave will be available as Shared Parental Leave. The remaining pay will be available as Shared Parental Pay.


Shared Parental Leave can be taken in up to 3 separate blocks:

  • An employee taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL) can potentially split their leave into up to 3 separate blocks instead of taking it all in one go, even if they aren’t sharing the leave with their partner, any proposal has to be agreed with their manager.
  • If both parents are taking SPL then they can take their leave at the same time as each other or at different times
  • The employee must give at least 8 weeks’ notice before a block of leave begins

If an employee is eligible and they or their partner end maternity or adoption leave and pay (or Maternity Allowance) early, then they can:

  • take the rest of the 52 weeks of leave (up to a maximum of 50 weeks) as Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
  • 8 weeks of which will be total on target pay for abcam employees
  • take the rest of the 31 weeks of pay (up to a maximum of 29 weeks) as Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

Updated: 04/03/2020


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