Case Study 1 - SPL taken in 2016 - Leave shared with partner, 7 weeks extra pay accrued
"I was due on 17th July 2016 with my first child, I worked for a MAT that offered enhanced SPP (at the same rate as maternity pay). I gave notice in the spring term that I intended to take SPL and that I would curtail my maternity leave two weeks after I gave birth so that I would be 'at work' for the summer holidays. My first block of SPL commenced on 1st September and lasted until the last day of the first half term. I returned to work for October half term then took my second block of leave for the time between half term and Christmas. I returned to work for the Christmas holidays and then took my final block of leave in January. I returned to work permanently in February and my husband did then take SPL, he started a week before I went back so we did have week off together. My husband then had 3 months at home with our daughter - he loved it! He was paid the statutory rate as we were within the 39 weeks. Due to SPL offering 20 keeping in touch days he was able, with agreement of his work, to work a day a week as well.
My school were supportive of my decision to take SPL throughout, though they weren't overly familiar with the process. As I work for a MAT the forms were sent off to head office. In May I was written to asking me to reconsider my application and to think about the implications on the school and on the timetable etc, they asked to meet me and the school HR manager. I had, in good faith, submitted just one application which employers can refuse multiple blocks of leave on. After taking some advice from a family member in HR and rereading all the policies I wrote back, politely refusing to meet - I stated that I was under enough pressure being heavily pregnant and teaching two exam classes, that I was aware of the law and that I would officially withdraw my single application and submit three separate applications (I recommend all applicants do this first time now to avoid this) that I knew they couldn't refuse. A few weeks later I received a letter saying that my application for SPL was accepted and I was then paid correctly throughout. In the week after my daughter was born I emailed in confirming the birth and reiterating my desire to curtail my maternity leave 14 days after the birth as per my original form (couldn't specify dates originally as I didn't know when she'd be born!).
Case Study 2 - SPL taken in 2017 - Leave shared with partner, allowing both Christmas and Easter to be paid in full.
Our second Mum was due in August and started her maternity leave on the day her daughter was born (baby arrived 4 days early). She took 18 weeks leave and returned to work the day before the Christmas holidays - curtailing her maternity leave and returning to full pay. Both parents were eligible for SPL and they choose to make use of it by the father (not a teacher) taking SPL from the first day of the Spring Term. This allowed both parents to be paid over the Christmas holidays. Her partner also went back to work for the Easter holidays and then took a second block of leave until the summer half term. By using SPL in blocks this couple were able to take nearly the whole year between them, but with the bonus of the Christmas and Easter two week holidays being able to both be paid in full.