Shared Parental Leave update

19 February 2015 | David Widdowson

Parents of babies born or due on or after 5 April 2015 may be entitled to shared parental leave and pay.

As companies across the country prepare for the introduction of these new family friendly laws, BIS has produced a helpful online calculator for parents to establish leave and pay.

The Government has also announced that some companies (including Shell, Deloitte, Linklaters and the civil service) will pay employees on shared parental leave an enhanced package in line with the enhanced maternity packages that they pay to their female employees who take maternity leave.  Should all employers do the same?

The answer to this question should be considered against the backdrop of a recent Employment Tribunal case.  The tribunal found that Ford Motor Company’s failure to pay a male employee an enhanced ‘additional paternity pay’ during his period of additional paternity leave (the predecessor to shared parental leave and pay) at the same rate as the higher/enhanced maternity pay that they paid to their female employees was not sex discrimination against men.   This is because of the following two reasons.

First, a female applicant for additional paternity leave (for example a same-sex partner) would have been treated in the same way as this male employee.  Second, Ford’s decision to pay women on maternity leave an enhanced package was justified because Ford wanted to recruit and retain women in a male-dominated workforce.

Other employers may not be able to rely on Ford’s second justification above.  All employers should carefully consider this case when determining whether or not to pay enhanced shared parental pay if they pay enhanced maternity pay.  They should also consider the impact on employee relations and embracing diversity in the workplace.

For further information on shared parental leave and ‘how to make it work’ please see our previous article.


  • Shuter v Ford Motor Company limited.
  • Jo Swinson, the Employment Relations Minister’s press release.



Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article. For further legal information click here.

Circular 230 disclosure

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this article (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.


If you would like to copy or otherwise reproduce this article then you may do so provided that: (1) any such copy or reproduction is for your own personal use or if it is made available to any third party it is done so on a free of charge basis; and (2) the article is reproduced in full together with the contact details, disclaimer and any logos as they appear on each article.

The author

David Widdowson
Employment Law
Business Coaching
D: +44 (0) 207 036 8388
T: +44 (0) 203 051 5711
F: +44 (0) 203 051 5712

Also by the author

3 March 2021
Alternatives to Redundancies | Employers & HR Specialists
3 March 2021
UK Budget 2021: Furlough Scheme extended until September 2021
22 February 2021
UK Supreme Court Ruling – Uber Drivers Entitled to Workers’ Rights
Subscribe to our newsletter
Stay up to the minute on our latest news and insights?