The Government has published details of the rate at which statutory shared parental pay will be paid from April 2015, alongside new statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay from April 2015.
Statutory shared parental pay
Employees who qualify to receive statutory shared parental pay while on shared parental leave will be paid £139.58 per week from 5 April 2015 (increasing from £138.18 per week before 5 April 2015), or at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, if this figure is lower than the Government’s set weekly rate.
Shared parental leave and pay is available for employees with babies due on or after 5 April 2015, and for employees who are adopting where the child is placed for adoption on or after that date.
Statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay increase from £138.18 per week to £139.58 from 5 April 2015. The rate of statutory sick pay from 6 April 2015 has also been announced.
Stephen Simpson, senior employment law editor at XpertHR, said: “It is useful for HR professionals whose employers intend to pay the statutory minimum to employees on shared parental leave to have the rate of statutory shared parental pay now. The rate can be added into their shared parental leave policy and any communications to employees about the new right to shared parental leave.”
“Employers may also now be preparing budgets for 2015, and can use the new rates to work out how much to set aside to pay employees on family-friendly leave or sick leave.”
The Government has estimated that between 2% and 6% of fathers will take up the new shared parental leave rights, but recent research from law firm Linklaters has suggested as many as 62% of staff in FTSE100 companies are interested in taking a period of shared parental leave.
One of the key factors in employees making the decision to take shared leave will be whether or not their employer decides to enhance shared parental pay to a similar level as enhanced maternity pay. Around three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed said this would be either relevant or very relevant to their decision to take time away from work.
A survey of employers by Personnel Today and XpertHR suggested that most organisations that offer enhanced maternity pay will also offer enhanced pay to parents taking shared leave. Where they had already made the decision to enhance, 75% said they would mirror the pay offered to mothers.