Can an employee use periods of shared parental leave to reduce their hours over a period, for example by working for two days a week and taking shared parental leave for three days a week?

No, shared parental leave must be taken in blocks of at least one week at a time. Therefore, an employee could not take shared parental leave in blocks of one or two days to reduce their working hours.

However, each parent can agree with their employer to use up to 20 "shared-parental-leave-in-touch" (SPLIT) days to carry out work without bringing a period of shared parental leave to an end. If the employee and employer agree, SPLIT days can be used to enable the employee to attend work on a regular basis during a period of shared parental leave. For example, the employee could take shared parental leave for 10 weeks and use two SPLIT days each week to attend work.

Working a SPLIT day will not affect the employee's entitlement to statutory shared parental pay. Contractual pay should be agreed between the employer and employee. For example, the employer could pay the employee their full contractual pay for the day, offsetting any entitlement to statutory pay.