Does the mother’s maternity have to have ended before the other parent can start shared parental leave?

Two of my employees have recently had a baby together. The mother has submitted her curtailment notice to end her maternity leave and move onto shared parental leave, and now the other parent is keen to start their part of the shared leave as soon as they are able to. Do they have to wait until the mother’s maternity leave has ended completely, or is the fact the curtailment notice has been served enough?

Yes, the mother serving the curtailment notice is enough to allow the other parent to begin their shared parental leave; there is no requirement for them to wait until it has ended.

In order to qualify for shared parental leave, the mother must have cut short her maternity leave period, or her maternity pay period where she qualifies for SMP or maternity allowance but is not entitled to maternity leave (ie where she is self-employed. In that situation the mother would not qualify for shared parental leave in her own right but may want to curtail her maternity pay period to allow the other parent to take leave.) This can be cut short by serving a curtailment notice.

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