Policy Document

Children and Families Act 2014




United Kingdom


Family & Children


Leave Schemes for Parents

Main implications

In this UK Public General Act, with regard to parental leave, it prescribes that, from April 2015, mothers, father, and adopters can opt to share parental leave around the time of their child’s birth or placement. The act also eliminates additional paternity leave and pay. Part VII of the act (Statutory Rights to Leave and Pay) amends the Employment Rights Act 1996 by establishing that employees who satisfies specific conditions (to be regulated by the Secretary of State) may be absent from work under shared parental leave for the purpose of caring for an expected or new-born child. Shared parental leave is an option for any child expected on or after 5 April 2015. From 1 October 2014, prospective fathers or the mother’s partner are entitled to take time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments. Fathers and mother’s partners can take up to one year on shared parental leave; parents can take up to several months at the same time. The act also entitles people with whom a child is, or is expected to be, placed for adoption and who satisfy specific conditions (to be regulated by the Secretary of State) to be absent from work under shared parental leave, for the purpose of caring for the adopted child. Adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents from 5 April 2015 (no qualifying period for leave; enhanced pay to 90 % of the salary for the first six weeks; and time off to attend introductory appointments). Intended parents in surrogacy and 'foster to adopt' arrangements will also qualify for adoption leave and pay. The act extends the right to request flexible working time to all employees from 30 June 2014. It places a duty on employers to consider requests in a 'reasonable' manner. Finally, the act repeals sections 3 to 10 of the Work and Families Act 2006; this implies that all entitlements to 'additional paternity leave and pay' that were established by the 2006 act are eliminated.

Benefits & Requirements

Coverage: Eligible groups or beneficiaries

The act provides for the Secretary of State to make regulations on the criteria for eligibility and coverage.

Target group


Who is entitled to opt for parental leave according to this document?

In order to be eligible for shared parental leave, the claimant must: - Share the care of the child with her/his husband/wife/civil partner/joint adopter, the child other’s parent or a cohabiting partner. - Have been employed continuously for the last 26 weeks before the end of the 15th week before the due date The claimant’s partners must: - Have been employed continuously for the last 26 weeks before the end of the 15th week before the due date - Earn at least £30 per week on average.

Months of parental leave guaranteed by the State, stipulated by this document

The eligible claimant may: - take the rest of the 52 weeks of parental leave as shared parental leave - take the rest of the 39 weeks of pay or maternity allowance as statutory shared parental pay

Calculation of financial support

Statutory Shared Parental Pay: £138.18 a week or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Months of parental leave secured by State without receiving financial support

13 weeks (total of 52 weeks minus the 39 weeks of paid parental leave)

Flexibility to use leave entitlements (e.g. part-time option, simultaneous or separated use by parents)

Option for shared parental leave in the first year.

Does this document guarantee job security after parental leave?


Does this document contain specific entitlements for parental leave after adoption?


Read the Law

Full Text Source in English

2014, chapter 6

Original full text source in native language

2014, chapter 6

Full text web source in English


Original full text web source in native language


Comments & Clarifications

The Children and Families Act, unless otherwise stated, generally extends to England and Wales only, and applies to England only.


Ernestina Coast, Ginevra Floridi & Wendy Sigle
London School of Economics and Political Science

Data collected in the framework of the Population Europe Research Finder and Archive (PERFAR)

Cite as

SPLASH-db.eu (2014): Policy: "Children and Families Act 2014" (Information provided by Ernestina Coast, Ginevra Floridi & Wendy Sigle). Available at: https://splash-db.eu [Date of access].