Update On Shared Parental Pay

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    The case of Ali v Capita and Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police has been refused permission to appeal at the Supreme Court which means that last year’s judgement is binding, and employers can enhance maternity pay without also enhancing shared parental pay.

    At Capita, women were entitled to maternity pay of up to 39 weeks, with the first 14 weeks paid at full pay followed by 25 weeks of statutory maternity pay. Parents taking shared parental leave only received statutory shared parental pay.

    The case was similar at Leicestershire Police where women were entitled to 18 weeks’ full pay and then 39 weeks’ statutory maternity pay, whilst those on shared parental leave only received statutory pay.

    Ali took his employers, Capita, to court stating that paying him less than a woman amounted to direct discrimination, while Hextall’s issues with Leicestershire Police was that the policy of paying women on maternity leave more than those on shared parental leave indirectly discriminated against men.

    The outcome of both cases from the Court of Appeal was that there was “nothing unusual” about the employers’ policies so they unanimously rejected both claims.

    Hextall then made an appeal to the Supreme Court who announced, last month, that permission to appeal had been refused

    What does this ruling mean for employers?

    This was a highly anticipated case for many businesses who may have similar policies in place as it will set the tone for how companies must approach shared parental pay in relation to maternity pay.

    The decision to refuse the appeal means that any difference in pay between maternity and shared parental leave is not seen as discriminatory by the law.
    This means that employers can have peace of mind if they have one policy for maternity pay and another for shared parental pay.

    With that being said, it is still important that you are aware of the possible contention you’ll face from employees who feel that this is not fair, especially if the disparity between maternity pay and shared parental pay is quite large.

    Although you won’t face any legal issues, your employees may feel upset or annoyed which could affect their productive, your company retention rates and your ability to recruit – these are all risks that you are facing if you choose to enhance maternity pay but leave shared parental pay as it stands within the law.

    If you need help with creating your shared parental policy or any other HR documents, then we have professional HR Consultants on hand to provide comprehensive support and advice to ensure that your business is compliant with current laws and getting the best out of your employees.

    Call us today on 0845 2626 260 or email [email protected] for a free consultation and quote.

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