University's Contractual Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) Scheme

This guidance was last updated on January 2015

For eligible employees the University offers an enhanced, contractual ShPP Scheme.

Qualifying for the University's contractual ShPP Scheme

To qualify for the University’s Contractual ShPP Scheme, the employee must:

  • meet the qualifying conditions for statutory SPL;
  • have at least 26 weeks' continuous service with the University, as an employee;
  • provide their department with the correct notifications (see SPL notifications - birth or SPL notifications - adoption);  
  • have a current contract of employment with the University (that covers the full period of the intended leave); and
  • have the intention to return to work for a minimum of three months following the end of SPL*.

*If an employee is on a fixed-term contract, please refer to the 'Fixed-term contracts' section below.

The above must be confirmed in writing by the employee. The 'SPL notifications' pro-forma on the right-hand side can be used for this purpose.

Any periods of maternity/adoption leave, pay or allowance must be curtailed early in order to be able to convert the remaining balance of that leave and pay into SPL and ShPP. The SPL and ShPP are reduced by the amount of maternity/adoption leave and pay the mother has taken.

For example, if the mother takes the initial 26 weeks as her maternity leave, the couple are then only entitled to 26 weeks of leave to share in total, with 13 of those weeks paid in statutory payments and 13 weeks taken as unpaid leave.

The benefits of the University ShPP Scheme

Payments under the University ShPP Scheme consist of two elements, statutory ShPP and contractual pay.

Statutory ShPP is paid at a statutory flat rate set by the government for up to 37 weeks within the 52 weeks following the birth or placement of the child. Some employees will be eligible for contractual pay, which is the pay that the University pays over and above the statutory minimum.

Statutory payments are incorporated into the full pay received under the University ShPP Scheme, for those who are eligible. Statutory ShPP is not paid in addition to full pay.

SPL and ShPP cannot commence until the end of the compulsory two-week maternity or adoption leave period.

If all the qualifying requirements are met, the employee will be eligible to receive the benefits of the University ShPP Scheme. Subject to how much maternity/adoption leave has been taken, and how leave and pay are shared between the parents, an employee may be entitled to (in chronological order of SPL):

  • up to 24 weeks’ paid at the full rate of the employee's normal pay (only in the first 26 weeks following the birth/placement of the child);
  • up to 13 weeks paid at the statutory rate of pay; and
  • up to 13 weeks of unpaid leave.

If SPL is taken simultaneously by both parents, the entitlement to full pay is split evenly between them, ie up to 12 weeks each, and will be applied from the start of any block of SPL.

For example
, if both parents go on SPL at the same time for 24 weeks following the compulsory two-week maternity/adoption leave period (ie 12 weeks for the mother/primary adopter and 12 weeks for the second parent), the employee of the University will only be entitled to full pay for the initial 12 weeks of that period, as their partner’s leave of 12 weeks will count towards the initial 24 week period upon which the entitlement to full pay is based. Where both parents are employees of the University, they would both be paid 12 weeks at their normal full rate of pay, which would add up to their maximum entitlement of 24 weeks of full pay.

In the case of a multiple birth or the adoption of more than one child, the parents are entitled to the same benefits as if they were having one child.

If an employee decides not to return to work

If an employee decides not to return to work at the end of their SPL, or returns to work for less than three months, the University reserves the right to reclaim all or part of the payments made under the University scheme, minus any statutory pay element to which the employee was eligible. If an employee resigns during their SPL, they must do so in the normal way, giving the notice period stated in their employment contract. All other contractual benefits will end as at the end date of their employment with the University. An employee may continue to be entitled to statutory payments after employment ends.

Fixed-term contracts

If an employee’s fixed-term contract expires during the proposed period of SPL (or the contract ends due to redundancy), they may still qualify for the University's contractual ShPP scheme. However, the payments under the University’s contractual scheme and all other contractual employment benefits will cease on the contract end date. Statutory payments may continue to be payable.

If an employee does not qualify for the University’s contractual ShPP scheme

If an employee does not qualify for the University’s contractual ShPP scheme, (which pays above the statutory entitlement), they may still qualify for statutory ShPP if they satisfy the eligibility criteria. In cases where both parents meet the qualifying criteria for statutory ShPP they will be eligible to take up to 50 weeks’ leave, with up to 37 weeks’ of statutory pay. Further details on statutory entitlement and pay details can be found on the government’s website. Alternatively, an employee might qualify for SPL only, but not for ShPP.

A family leave calculator is available on the government's website, which helps individuals work out what statutory entitlement they may have for maternity, paterntity and/or SPL.

See also: If only one parent qualifies