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How to start the shared parental leave process


For Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to start, the mother or adopter must do one of the following:

  • give at least 8 weeks’ notice, in writing,  that they intend to curtail their maternity or adoption leave  including the end date.
  • end maternity pay or Maternity Allowance.
  • must have the compulsory 2 weeks of maternity leave following the birth.
  • Adopters must give notice to end adoption pay.

Shared Parental Leave can start for the partner while the mother or adopter is still on maternity or adoption leave if written notice has been given to end the leave.

The employee must provide written notice of their entitlement to SPL and ShPP, including:

  • their partner’s name
  • maternity leave start and end dates
  • the total amount of SPL and ShPP available and how much they and their partner intend to take
  • that they’re sharing childcare responsibility with their partner

It must also include a signed declaration from the partner stating:

  • their name, address and National Insurance number
  • that they satisfy the qualify requirements to take SPL and ShPP
  • that they agree to taking SPL and ShPP

After receiving this notice, you will be asked to also provide:

  • a copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • the name and address of their partner’s employer
  • this must be provided within 14 days of the request. 


The mother or adopter may be able to change their decision to end maternity or adoption leave early if both:

  • the planned end date hasn’t passed
  • they haven’t already returned to work

One of the following must also apply:

  • it’s discovered during the 8-week notice period that neither partner is eligible for either SPL or ShPP
  • the employee’s partner has died
  • it’s less than 6 weeks after the birth (and the mother gave notice before the birth)


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