Shared parental leave: Do I have to allow the employee to take the leave they want?

Peninsula Team

February 23 2015

This depends on how the employee requests the leave.

The employee will need to give you a Period of Leave notice to actually book some leave. One notice can be used to inform you of a single block of leave, or multiple blocks of leave.

Single block of leave requested If you get a Period of Leave Notice which notifies you of one single continuous block of leave, the employee is entitled to take it on the days notified. It cannot be refused.

More than one block of leave requested in one notice If you get a Period of Leave Notice which notifies you of separate blocks of leave i.e. at least 2 periods which are split with a period when the employee will be at work, the employee is not automatically entitled to take it. Your agreement is required.

When you receive this kind of notice, a 14 calendar day discussion period starts. During this period, you should sit down with the employee to consider how and whether the leave requested can be agreed unless you know that you are able to accommodate the periods of leave. It is best to speak to the employee as soon as possible within the discussion period.

After the discussion, you may:

• Agree to the periods of leave; • Propose alternative dates; • Decline the periods of leave set out in the notice.

The following are factors you might take think about when considering whether a discontinuous leave request can be agreed:

• Important events/days planned • Any challenging/busy period coming up • How the role will be covered • Staffing issues during that period • Customer impact in client-facing roles

If you do not respond to the notification, the employee will be able to take the total length of the leave notified but in one continuous block rather than separate blocks, e.g. if 4 periods of 3 weeks were contained in the notification, then one block of 12 weeks can be taken. The employee can inform you of a date to start the continuous block, but they must do this within 19 days of the date they submitted the notice. Alternatively, they can withdraw the notice. Withdrawal must take place within 15 days of the notice being submitted.

If the notice is withdrawn, it will be as though it was never made. An employee only has a right to submit 3 notices, although you can allow more if you wish. If a notice is withdrawn, it will not count towards the maximum of 3.

If you need any clarification on this issue then contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.

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