Shared parental leave and pay: Northern Ireland news

12 October 2014

Further news has been issued about the likely timing of the introduction of Shared Parental Leave and Pay in Northern Ireland.

Great British legislation covers employees who work in England, Scotland and Wales, and as previously confirmed this will apply in respect of births due on or after 6th April 2015. Separate legislation is required for employees who work in Northern Ireland and as yet no legislation has been passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The current plan is that the primary legislation will be in place by the beginning of next year followed closely by the secondary legislation to meet an April 2015 delivery.


HMRC have stated that this means that as the Northern Irish legislation is not in the same advanced state as Great British legislation the new arrangements for Shared Parental Leave and Pay will not be available in Northern Ireland for early births (i.e. babies who are due on or after 5th April 2015 but are born early).

HMRC add:

In addition there is a very small chance that the Northern Irish legislation will not be in place for Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) (and the supporting changes to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)) to come in to effect in Northern Ireland from 5th April 2015. In the unlikely event that this delay occurs then:

· Couples who are employed in GB and whose babies are due on or after 5th April 2015 (or whose children are placed for adoption on or after 5th April) will be able to access ShPP.

· However couples in the same situation who are employed in NI will not be eligible for ShPP and will continue to access Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP).

· Also an adopter in GB whose Adoption Pay Period (APP) starts on or after 5th April 2015 will be entitled to the first 6 weeks of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) at 90% of their average weekly earnings.

· An adopter in NI with an APP starting on or after the 5th April 2015 will still continue to receive SAP at the flat rate for 39 weeks

If there is any slippage in the NI legislative timetable then the aim will be to have it in place as soon after 5th April 2015 as possible.