Paternity Leave - Shared Parental Leave - Adoption Leave


Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is for the sole purpose of caring for a new baby/newly adopted child or supporting the mother/partner of the baby/adopted child. To qualify for paternity leave and pay you must:

1.Have, or expect to have, responsibility for the child’s upbringing;

2. Be the biological or adoptive father, or the mother’s husband or partner

3. Have continuous employment with NHS Lothian for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week (qualifying week) before the baby is due.

4. Have average weekly earnings of not less than the lower earnings limit for the payment of National Insurance contributions

5. One year or more continuous service by date of child’s birth or placement in the case of adoption

For further information, see the below intranet link.

Shared Parental Leave

Shared parental leave (SPL) is a form of leave available to working parents following the birth or adoption of a child.

In birth cases, SPL allows parents to take up to 52 weeks leave in total (2 of which has to be Maternity Leave) on the birth of a child. They can take this leave at the same time, or at different times.

To be eligible to take SPL the parent taking it must:

• have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before their baby is due or their adoption match date

• still be working for the same employer a week before the start of each block of leave they take.

Up to the expected birth date or adoption match date, the other parent must have:

• worked for at least 26 of 66 weeks

• earned an average of at least £30 a week in any 13 weeks

You may choose to end maternity leave early to access shared parental leave.

Shared Parental Pay (SPP) is calculated in the same way as SMP and OMP. You may choose to share the OMP period with your partner if you both work in the NHS, but the parent giving birth is obliged to take at least two week’s maternity leave. If your partner works outwith the NHS, they may have more or less generous OMP terms so it may be worth making enquiries.

Adoption Leave

You are eligible for adoption leave if you:

Are the primary carer in the adoption arrangement made by an official adoption agency, or you are the intended parent through a surrogacy arrangement and commit to applying for a parental or adoption order; and

i) you have 12 months’ continuous service one or more NHS employers by either:

a) the beginning of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption; or b) the 15th week before the baby’s due date if applying via a surrogacy arrangement and where the employee is eligible and intends to apply for a parental order;

ii) they notify their employer in writing before the end of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption, or by the 15th week before the baby’s due date if applying via a surrogacy arrangement:

- (a) of their intention to take adoption leave; (b) of the date they wish to start their adoption leave (c) that they intend to return to work with the same or another NHS employer for a minimum period of three months after their adoption leave has ended; (d) and provide written confirmation from their placing authority of the matching decision or a parental statutory declaration that they intend to apply for a parental order in the case of a surrogacy arrangement.

Adoption pay composes three phases that mirror that of maternity leave. It is calculated on the average weekly earnings in the 8 week period before the matching week. Further details on these calculations are available here:

In the case of adoption, under the SPL system, up to 50 weeks of the adoption leave entitlement may be designated as SPL. Assuming you are both eligible, you and your partner can choose how you split that leave between you. You may be able to take this leave at the same time or at different times. You may also be able to take it in more than one block.