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Introduction to this document

Letter inviting employee to attend a SPLIT day

Employees are permitted to work for occasional days during their shared parental leave (SPL) - these are called “shared parental leave in touch” (SPLIT) days. An employee is under no obligation to attend a SPLIT day - it’s entirely their choice. But if you feel this process would be beneficial, you can explain why. You should also set out the details on pay. Use our letter for this purpose.

20 SPLIT days

The law enables an employee on SPL to agree with their employer to work for up to a maximum of 20 days while absent on SPL without bringing their SPL entitlement to an end and without loss of a week’s statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) as a result of carrying out that work. For these purposes, “work” is any work carried out under the employee’s contract of employment and may include any training or other activity undertaken to assist the employee in keeping in touch with the workplace, such as attending conferences, appraisals or team meetings. Any work carried out on any day constitutes a day’s work for these purposes. Therefore, if the employee only attends work for an hour or two, it still counts as a full day’s work for the purpose of the 20-day calculation.

Agreement needed

Any work undertaken on SPLIT days must be by agreement between you. There’s no right for you to insist that an employee work a SPLIT day, nor is there a right for the employee to demand to come to work during SPL to work a SPLIT day. However, you may both agree that it would be beneficial for the employee to attend work in order to, for example, attend a training session or a team meeting. Likewise, it’s a matter for agreement how many SPLIT days may be worked and whether they should be worked as a continuous single block or as odd days. Work on SPLIT days also doesn’t have the effect of extending the total duration of the SPL period.

Providing the details

Your employee is more likely to accept your invitation if you give them as much notice as possible. So send our Letter Inviting Employee to Attend a SPLIT Day as soon as you know you’d like them to come in. Our letter sets out the employee’s rights, the SPLIT day arrangements proposed, the purpose of the SPLIT day and the arrangements for pay.

Pay position

The amount of pay for work done on SPLIT days is also a matter for agreement between you - it would be usual practice to pay the employee’s normal contractual hourly rate for the hours they work on a SPLIT day and you can, if you wish, offset any salary paid to the employee for working against any ShPP that may be due for that SPLIT day.

Other issues

SPLIT days are in addition to the ten “keeping in touch” days allowed during maternity or adoption leave, meaning mothers or adopters then taking SPL may potentially work for a total of up to 30 days during their period of leave, without bringing the period to an end. An employee has the right not to be subjected to a detriment or dismissed for undertaking, considering undertaking or refusing to undertake work on a SPLIT day. A dismissal on these grounds is automatically unfair.