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Shared Parental Leave (ShPL)

Share the care of your child as parents in the first year whilst balancing work.

Shared Parental Leave (ShPL)

Who is it for?

All MOD Civilians


What is it for?

Shared Parental Leave (ShPL) and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) provides parents with the opportunity to share the care of their child in the first year whilst balancing their work and retaining their link to the labour market.


What do I get?

ShPL is available to both parents, including adopters and their partners, with main caring responsibilities for a child. It is a statutory entitlement in addition to those for Maternity, Paternity and Adoption leave. ShPL allows eligible parents the choice to end the mother's maternity leave and pay, or the primary adopter’s adoption leave and pay early, and share the untaken balance as ShPL and ShPP. The mother or primary adopter must still take their two (four weeks for manual work on industrial premises) compulsory maternity leave, or first two weeks adoption leave.

If you are in a surrogacy arrangement, and are eligible and intend to apply for a parental order, or if you are adopting through an approved agency and applying for an adoption order, you may also be eligible for ShPL. You can opt into ShPL once you have accessed adoption leave and pay.



 The Department will pay ShPP as follows:

  • Eligible employees will be entitled to claim ShPP of up to 39 weeks (less any weeks of statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or statutory adoption pay already claimed) within one year from the birth or placement.


  • For 26 of those weeks leave occupational ShPP will be paid at full pay less any weeks statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or statutory adoption pay and leave already taken.


  • The remaining 26 weeks of ShPL will be paid at statutory rate for 13 weeks and 13 weeks unpaid. This mirrors the Department’s occupational maternity pay arrangements.


  • Regardless of whether one or both parents work in the MOD, the amount of ShPP entitlement is counted down from when the 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or statutory pay starts.
  • The Department will not pay more than 26 weeks full maternity pay, adoption pay or ShPP in aggregate to an eligible couple within the MOD, as this is a joint entitlement.


  • ShPL and ShPP can be taken at any time during the first year following the birth or placement for adoption, so long as the compulsory maternity period, or two weeks adoption leave, has been taken.




How do I claim?

To qualify for statutory ShPL and ShPP, both parents (mother / primary adopter and her partner) must meet an economic activity test relating to employment and earnings and an individual test relating to duration of service as well as having main caring responsibility for the child:


Stage 1 - The joint or economic activity test

In order to qualify, an employed person must have a partner who:

◦a) shares the main responsibility for the care of the child and is either:

◾their husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter

◾the child's other parent

◾their partner

◦b) declares that they meet the employment and earnings test. This requires them to have worked for any 26 out of the 66 weeks leading up to the EWC or the adoption matching date and earned at least £30 gross a week for any 13 of those 66 weeks.


Stage 2 - The individual test

◦To be eligible for ShPL, each parent must have at least 26 weeks continuous service with the same employer by the end of the 15th week, before the EWC or adoption matching date. They must also still be working for the same employer when they intend to take the leave.

◦To be eligible for statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) each parent must have 26 weeks continuous service with the same employer at the 15th week before the EWC or adoption placement date. Earnings for the eight week period prior to the 15th week before the EWC or adoption placement date must be over the lower earnings limit. For further information on the lower earnings limit see - State Pension coverage: Lower Earnings Limit and multiple jobs (www).


If you meet both the economic activity test and individual test then follow the steps below to claim. 


Employees will need to give their line manager a minimum of eight weeks’ notice of intention to take ShPL using HR Form 219a: Shared Parental Notice of Intention. MDP Officers should use HR Form 219b: Ministry of Defence Police Shared Parental Leave Notice of Intention. This includes a non-binding indication of the expected pattern of leave to give an early indication to line managers of the intended leave pattern.

What happens next?

If already within a period of agreed leave, this will continue until agreement of new leave pattern is reached and the required notice period is completed.



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