The draft Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 are due to come into force on 1 October 2014 and are intended to apply to babies whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5 April 2015 (or, in the case of adoption, children matched or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015). Alongside these draft regulations, BIS has also published draft Statutory Shared Parental Pay (General) Regulations 2014 and draft Maternity and Adoption Leave (Curtailment of Statutory Rights to Leave) Regulations 2014. BIS is asking for views/comments on the draft legislation as it is aiming to make the new system meet the needs of parents and employers and make it as simple as possible to use.
We outlined the basics of the new system of shared parental leave and pay in a recent post. However, with nearly 70 pages of draft regulations to digest, it is clear that the new system will require careful thought and planning. At first glance, many of the provisions of the draft regulations are as we expected. They outline the conditions for entitlement to shared parental leave, where eligible women can curtail their statutory maternity leave to enable them or their partner to take shared parental leave (and, similarly, eligible people can curtail their statutory adoption leave for the same purpose).
However, the devil will be in the detail and it is likely to be a challenge for employers to get to grips with the mechanics of the new system. We are well placed to flesh out some of the detail. Next week, I will be speaking at a conference on 'Managing Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave', alongside a speaker from BIS who will outline the Government's proposals for shared parental leave and pay. I will report back after the conference on this blog and share my thoughts on how the Government envisages shared parental leave and pay, and the draft regulations, will work in practice.