How much notice that they intend to take shared parental leave must employees give?

Employees must give their employer at least eight weeks' notice to take a period of shared parental leave.

There are a number of different notices that employees must give before they can take shared parental leave.

Before either parent can take shared parental leave, the mother must give their employer a leave curtailment notice, setting out the date on which they intend to bring their maternity leave to an end. This must be given no less than eight weeks before the start of the first period of shared parental leave taken by either of the parents.

At the same time as they give the leave curtailment notice the mother must give their employer:

  • a notice of entitlement and intention to take shared parental leave, providing the employer with information including how much shared parental leave the parents each intend to take and an indication as to when the mother intends to take leave (which is non-binding); or
  • a declaration stating that their partner has given their employer a notice of entitlement and intention to take shared parental leave and that they consent to their partner taking that amount of leave.

The employee, whether the mother or their partner, must give their employer a notice of entitlement and intention to take shared parental leave not less than eight weeks before the start of their first period of shared parental leave.

In addition, no less than eight weeks before each period of shared parental leave, the employee taking the leave must give their employer a period of leave notice, setting out the start and end dates of the period or periods of leave requested.

There are similar notice requirements for employees taking shared parental leave when adopting a child.