Introduction to this document

Acknowledgement of single period of SPL

If an eligible employee has requested a single, continuous period of shared parental leave (SPL), they’re entitled to take that leave on the dates they have notified. Use our acknowledgement letter to set out the legal position on various matters related to SPL.

Employee’s choice

It’s up to the two parents or adopters to agree between them how much SPL they each wish to take and whether they want to take the time off consecutively or concurrently. For example, they can alternate periods of work and SPL or be at home together, but SPL taken by one parent or adopter will reduce the pool of SPL that is available to the other parent or adopter. SPL may be taken as one single, continuous period or in separate, discontinuous blocks.

Continuous SPL

Where the employee’s request is for a single, continuous period of SPL and they’ve complied with all the statutory requirements, they’re legally entitled to take it and you can’t refuse to grant the request, even if you think you have legitimate business reasons to do so. You have to unconditionally accept the request.

Acknowledgement letter

Unlike maternity and adoption leave, you don’t have to formally respond to the employee’s notification of their SPL plans. However, doing so gives you the opportunity to confirm the legal position on various matters related to SPL. Our Acknowledgement of Single Period of SPL sets out the start and end dates of SPL and the date on which the employee is due to return to work after their SPL. It also provides the rules that apply should the employee later wish to change their SPL start or end date, cancel their SPL altogether or if they want to return to work early before the end of their SPL period. It reminds them that if they don’t intend to return to work at all after SPL, they’re still obliged to give the requisite notice of termination in accordance with their contract of employment. Finally, it sets out whether the employee is entitled to statutory shared parental pay (or enhanced shared parental pay) and, if so, the amount and start and end dates and it briefly discusses shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days.


Contact during SPL

You’re entitled to maintain reasonable contact with your employee during their SPL. For example, this may be to discuss their plans for return to work or to update them on important developments at work during their absence. As a minimum, make sure you advise them of any internal job vacancies that may arise and permit them to apply in the same way as employees who are at work.