The new system of shared parental leave will apply in relation to babies expected from 5 April 2015 onwards, and for children placed for adoption from that date.

The system is complex, and whilst employers are getting to grips with how the new rules work in practice, they may have overlooked how they interact with the rules of their occupational pension schemes.

Unless the pension scheme’s rules have been widely drafted, it is unlikely that they can accommodate the new shared parental leave flexibilities.

Therefore, now is a good time to review and update pension scheme rules to make sure they are ready for shared parental leave, at the same time making sure that they are consistent with all of the employer’s policies and procedures in relation to all periods of employee absence.