Shared Parental Leave
The current system of statutory pay and leave entitlements for employed parents is to be reformed for babies due (or adopted children placed) on or after 5 April 2015. The following guidance in contained in the lengthy Employer Bulletin so we have reproduced it in full.
The Government is reforming the statutory pay and leave entitlements available to employed parents. For babies due on or after 5 April 2015 a new entitlement of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) will replace Additional Paternity Leave and Pay. The parents of babies due on or before 4 April 2015 will continue to be eligible for Additional Paternity Leave and Pay.
SPL gives families greater choice over how they arrange childcare in the first year, by allowing working mothers the option to end their maternity pay and leave early and to share untaken leave and pay with their partner. An adopter will similarly be able to bring their adoption leave and pay to an early end to opt into Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) and Leave.
It is intended to enable fathers to take a greater role in caring for a child, and to help both parents to better balance childcare responsibilities with staying in work. For businesses, this helps them keep their best talent and allows employers to recruit with confidence that their women employees will be less likely to drop out of the workforce when they have children.
How does it work?
Current entitlement to 52 weeks statutory maternity/adoption leave, 39 of which is paid, and 2 weeks of statutory paternity leave and pay is all unchanged. The first six weeks of Statutory Adoption Pay will increase to 90% of average weekly earnings.
Working parents of a baby due or an adoptive child placed on or after 5 April 2015 may be eligible for SPL and ShPP. Under SPL, mothers/adopters will be able to choose to end their maternity/adoption leave and pay early (at any point from 2 weeks after the birth/placement), and share their untaken pay and leave with their partner. Shared parental leave and pay can be stopped and started and parents can be off at the same time, if they wish.
Parents will be able to take their leave in phases, for example 20 weeks for the mother/adopter, followed by 20 weeks for the father/partner, followed by 10 weeks for the mother/adopter. So it may be the case that statutory parental pay is paid over one or two discontinuous periods. Parents must notify their employers of their plans under SPL 8 weeks before they become eligible for it, and all shared leave and pay must be taken between the birth/placement and the child's first birthday.
What do employers need to do?
We expect the first notifications of intention to take SPL to arrive with employers from February 2015. The Government will provide an online form for parents to use. Some employers may wish to create their own requirements for how their employees notify them.
We anticipate that employers will need to update payroll systems where relevant to accommodate providing statutory parental pay to employees taking SPL, and to enable these payments to be paid discontinuously where necessary.
The Government will provide online tools to check eligibility, and publish detailed guidance on the rules around SPL. A key part of SPL is the discussion between employer and employee to agree the phasing of SPL and the return to work, and ACAS will also publish guidance to support this process.'
We will update you when further information is released. Please do get in touch if you would like further guidance on this area.
Internet link: Employer Bulletin
Our other services...
We can help with the preparation of accounts for all types of business. Whether you are a Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership or a Charity, AGP has the expertise to deal with you. We help you fulfil all your obligations with HMRC, Companies House and any other regulatory body that you are required to report to.
An audit provides a high level of independent assurance of the financial position and results of an organisation. This gives shareholders confidence that the reported performance of the business is accurate as well as providing external users with certainty that the accounts show a true and fair view. An audit lends credence to the company accounts in a number of ways.
It is important to ensure your tax planning reflects any changes to your circumstances which is why we work very closely with all our personal clients. AGP are trusted to manage tax efficiently. Sometimes just a simple review of your personal tax circumstances can reveal significant tax saving opportunities which can be realised quickly and at minimal cost..
AGP can become your own part-time Payroll Manager. An expert who knows the complexity of the relevant legislation inside out and for a fraction of the cost of an internal manager. Why not outsource this obligation and spend the time saved doing what you do best, running your business?
Corporation tax can be a huge outgoing for your company if it is not managed correctly and planned appropriately. You can trust AGP to employ a holistic approach to your tax planning whether you are a medium sized SME, an international organisation or a small owner-operator.
Management accounts allow business owners to exert a far greater degree of control over their business, recognising and addressing problems and identifying opportunities soon after they arise.
When running a business, priorities are often focused on the operational side of your business. Bookkeeping & administration can often be put off until it becomes quite a major task. By taking advantage of our bookkeeping service, we can take this problem away so you can get on with running your business while we manage your accounting books.
We take away the hassle. Whether starting a new business or restructuring an existing one, our extensive knowledge of company formation means we can advise you on the merits and possible pitfalls of incorporation.
We have a wealth of experience in the contractor market and as a result there are not many firms of Chartered Accountants that can claim they know the contractor industry as well as AGP. This leads to a number of benefits.