Regulations implementing the new shared parental leave regime are due to come into force in December 2014 and will apply to the parents of babies due on or after 5 April 2015. Whilst the concept of sharing leave between the parents of a child may be simple, the practice is not: the draft regulations raise many complex issues.

Eversheds surveyed a number of clients to get their thoughts and opinions regarding the complex issues employers are facing. Key headlines from the survey include:

  • 90%* have not yet reviewed or amended their policies in line with the new shared parental leave regime;
  • 95%* are concerned, or have not considered, the potential impact of the right to take shared parental leave discontinuously or intermittently;
  • Over two thirds* suggest they will tackle the challenges of discontinuous leave by encouraging employees to share their leave intentions as early as possible;
  • 55%* currently offer enhanced maternity pay but only 20% plan to extend enhanced maternity pay to those taking ShPL;
  • 90%* do not offer a return to work bonus;
  • 65%* say that none of the new fathers in their organisation used the existing right to additional paternity leave in the previous 12 months;
  • 90%* have not as yet amended their HR policies to reflect the new regime; and
  • 82%* have allowed a flexible working request.

The full report and findings can be found here.