Acas publishes suite of practical tools on shared parental leave for new working mums

Acas Shared Parental Leave

Workplace experts Acas has today published a suite of practical tools and top tips to help expectant working mums take advantage of new shared parental leave rights.

Shared parental leave (SPL) is a new legal right which allows couples to share maternity or adoption leave and pay from 5 April 2015. Working mothers and partners who are finding out now that they are expecting a child will be among the first parents eligible to take advantage of these new rights.

Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber said: "I want to wish all working mums and new mums-to-be a very happy Mother’s Day today. Acas has published a new series of official forms and sample letters to help mothers and their partners who are interested in taking shared parental leave but are unsure on how to do it.

“Our new suite of free tools shows employees how to prove that they are eligible and entitled to shared parental leave alongside template letters on how to officially book this leave.

“As workplace experts, we want to make sure that both employers and employees are prepared for these new rights and we have also published a free guide on shared parental leave, which includes advice for employers on how to deal with SPL requests fairly.”

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Acas has produced a set of top tips for working mums and new mums-to-be:

Check to make sure that you are eligible for shared parental leave. This online calculator can help: http://www.gov.uk/pay-leave-for-parents

Talk to your partner before speaking to your employer. There are many different combinations that are possible with SPL and you will need to make sure they fit around your life and work for you as a couple. You may want to double up in the early days for extra support, tag-team halfway through or do several swaps - the choice is yours.

You have to give your employer at least eight weeks notice of your intention to take shared parental leave so have a conversation with your employer as early as you can. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to make plans for your time away from work.

According to estimates from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), there are expected to be around 285,000 working couples who will be eligible to share their leave from April.

The forms and template letters published today cover surrogate parents, adopters and mothers who are entitled to maternity or adoption leave. These tools and Acas’ full guidance Shared Parental Leave: A good practice guide for employers and employees are available at: www.acas.org.uk/spl

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