The first two weeks after birth/adoption must be taken as compulsory maternity leave/adoption leave by the mother/primary adopter.

Eligible parents/partners will then be able to share a maximum of 50 weeks leave including 37 weeks’ statutory pay (as below), for the purpose of caring for a child within the first year of the child’s life or in the year after the child is placed for adoption. Where you or the other parent have already taken maternity or adoption leave and pay in respect of the same birth or adoption the equivalent amount of leave and pay will be deducted from the start of your University Shared Parental Pay.

Both parents must satisfy the eligibility criteria and at least one parent must be employed by the University of Exeter.

Please note that:

  • Shared Parental Leave cannot be taken until the birth or the placement of the child.
  • once the mother/primary adopter has given their employer a maternity/adoption leave curtailment notice it can only be withdrawn in very limited circumstances (see below), and can’t be withdrawn if they have already returned to work. The mother/primary adopter will then only be able to take Shared Parental Leave and cannot opt back into maternity/adoption leave.
  • if the father/partner intends to take Paternity/Maternity support Leave and Pay this should be taken before the commencement of the Shared Parental Leave /University Shared Parental Pay. Paternity Leave/Pay cannot be taken after Shared Parental Leave /University Shared Parental Pay.

Limited circumstances for withdrawing the curtailment of maternity/adoption leave:

  • within eight weeks of the mother submitting notice to end their maternity/adoption leave it transpires that neither parent qualifies for Shared Parental Leave or Shared Parental Pay;
  • when notice was given before birth, it may be withdrawn without a reason up to six weeks following the birth;
  • the partner dies.

Further information

For more information please see our pages on how to apply for leave, during your leave and on returning to work