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Shared Parental Leave: The Three Companies Leading the Way

With productivity being a subject of great debate, it has led to many suggesting that benefits packages are the way to go in order to motivate staff, especially those with a “millennial work ethic”. Essentially, millennials want to see a direct impact and return for their efforts and, more often than not, value family over work. Therefore, enticing benefits such as Shared Parental Leave (“SPL”) is a sure way to retain top talent.

In this article we look at three parental leave packages you could aspire to use.

Netflix has one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world. Parents are allowed to take off as much time as they want during the first year following their child’s birth or adoption, and they will continue to be paid their full salary. They can choose to return part-time, full-time (or a mixture of both), or not at all during those first 12 months.

Etsy refers to its parental leave policy as “gender-blind”. The company says its intention is to “counteract unconscious bias”, and offers all employees (regardless of gender, country of residence or family circumstance) 26 weeks of fully paid leave to be taken within the first two years.

Aviva announced in November last year that parents employed by the insurance company would be eligible for the same amount of time off work, 12 months with 26 weeks at full pay, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or whether they adopted or used a surrogate.

What Shared Parental Leave are you entitled to?

Whatever your company’s in-house parental leave policy, if you pass the government’s eligibility tests, you are entitled to take SPL.  
Parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay and choose to take the leave and pay in a more flexible way.
Parents can check if they are eligible by using the eligibility checklists. Conditions include a requirement for one or both of them to have started working for their current employer from around the time that the mother became pregnant (or, in the case of adoptions, 6 months before the adopter was matched with a child).

In addition to meeting all of the eligibility conditions for SPL, to qualify for Statutory Shared Parental Pay, the parent(s) must have average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit (£113 if the baby is due on or before 14 July 2018 and £116 if the baby is due on or after 15 July 2018).

The UK’s Shared Parental Leave initiative, which was introduced in 2015, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy to promote a range of fair and flexible working options which support employees, especially male employees, and boost business productivity.

If you need help and advice regarding Shared Parental Leave, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Richard Newstead
Latest posts by Richard Newstead (see all)
Richard Newstead

Richard qualified as a Legal Executive over 20 years ago and has significant experience in Employment law and Litigation. Richard acts for both employers and employees drafting and advising on settlement agreements, contracts of employment, consultancy agreements, directors service agreements and general workplace policies. He acts for commercial clients in the employment tribunal dealing with unfair dismissals, constructive dismissals and claims for discrimination.

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