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Shared parental leave policy template

A Shared Parental Leave policy is a document that outlines an organization's guidelines and procedures for allowing eligible employees to share leave time and pay following the birth or adoption of a child, including eligibility criteria, entitlement, application process, and employee rights during and after leave.

This shared parental leave policy template will help you craft a comprehensive and clear policy that supports your employees during a significant life event.

What is a shared parental leave policy?

This policy outlines eligibility criteria, entitlements, application procedures, and return-to-work provisions. It promotes a family-friendly workplace, adheres to legal requirements, and provides clear guidance to employees, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment.

What a shared parental leave policy should include:

  • Eligibility criteria: Detail the conditions that an employee must meet to be eligible for SPL. This often includes length of service, shared responsibility for the child, and the status of the partner.
  • Procedure for requesting SPL
  • Rights during SPL: Clarify the rights of employees during SPL, such as the accrual of annual leave and pension contributions.
  • Return to work process

Step by step instructions

Creating a Shared Parental Leave (SPL) policy involves several steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Understand the legal requirements

Before you start writing, familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for SPL in your jurisdiction. This will help you understand what you must include in your policy to comply with the law.

Step 2: Define the purpose and scope

Start by defining the purpose of the policy. This should include a statement about your company’s commitment to supporting employees who are new parents. Then, define the scope of the policy, i.e., who it applies to.

Step 3: Define key terms

Define any key terms used in the policy. This might include “Shared Parental Leave”, “Shared Parental Pay”, “eligible employee”, “partner”, and any other terms that are relevant to your policy.

Step 4: Outline the eligibility criteria

Clearly outline the criteria that an employee must meet to be eligible for SPL. This might include length of service, shared responsibility for the child, and the status of the partner.

Step 5: Define the entitlement

Explain how much SPL and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) an employee is entitled to, and how this can be split between parents.

Step 6: Explain the procedure for requesting SPL

Outline the process that employees must follow to request SPL. This should include any notice periods, forms to be completed, and how the leave can be split (e.g., into discontinuous blocks).

Step 7: Clarify rights during SPL

Clarify the rights of employees during SPL. This might include the accrual of annual leave, pension contributions, and the right to remain in contact with the workplace.

Step 8: Outline the return to work policy

Explain the employee’s rights upon returning to work. This should include the right to return to the same job (or a suitable alternative) and any potential flexible working arrangements.

Step 9: Address policy abuse

Mention the consequences if the policy is misused. This could include disciplinary action.

Step 10: Include a policy review statement

State that the policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains relevant and compliant with any changes in legislation.

Step 11: Review and legal approval

Once the policy is written, it should be reviewed by HR and legal experts to ensure it is legally compliant and suits the specific needs of your company and its employees.

Shared parental leave policy template

Brief & purpose

Our company is committed to supporting the families of our employees. We understand the importance of parental involvement in the early life of a child. Therefore, we offer Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to eligible employees. This policy outlines the terms and conditions of SPL.


This policy applies to all employees of the company, regardless of their gender or type of contract (full-time, part-time, temporary).


To be eligible for SPL, an employee must:

  • Be the mother, father, adopter, or intended parent of the child.
  • Share the main responsibility for the care of the child with the child’s other parent.
  • Have a minimum of 26 weeks of service with the company by the end of the 15th week before the child’s expected due date or adoption placement.


Eligible employees may be entitled to a maximum of 50 weeks of SPL and 37 weeks of Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) which can be shared between the parents. The actual amount of leave and pay will depend on how much maternity or adoption leave and pay has been used.

Notice of Intention to take SPL

Employees must notify the company of their intention to take SPL at least 8 weeks before they want the leave to start. The notice must include the expected week of childbirth or adoption, the duration of the leave, and how it will be divided between the parents.

Booking SPL

After providing the notice of intention, employees must also provide a leave booking notice at least 8 weeks before the start of each block of leave.

Returning to work

Employees have the right to return to the same job after SPL if the leave is for 26 weeks or less. If the leave is for more than 26 weeks, they have the right to return to the same job, or if that is not possible, to a similar job with equivalent terms and conditions.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our employees and the company.

Disclaimer: This template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.

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