Can I take shared parental leave if my contract ends before I give birth?

I am currently working as a pre-registration pharmacist and am wanting to clarify that the information on fixed term contracts makes sense in my situation. Pre registration consists of 52 weeks employment so after I have completed this my contract with my employer will come to an end. I am due to give birth after the 52 weeks is complete, will I have a right to be paid SMP from the employer even though my contract will have ended? Me and my husband are also interested in shared parental leave, and if I was to share my leave with him, would I be able to start a new job without it compromising his payments?

Only employees can benefit from shared parental leave (SPL) and pay.  To be eligible for SPL, the employee must have been continuously employed for 26 weeks up to and including the relevant week (the week immediately preceding the 14th week before the expected week of birth) and remain in continuous employment until the week before she starts any period of SPL.  Based on the limited information available to me, I am unclear when your employment will end. However, if it is before the week you would have expected to start any period of SPL, it is unlikely you would meet the definition of an employee and therefore would not be eligible for shared parental leave.

In such circumstances, you will retain the right to be paid SMP by your former employer, but obviously lose the right to statutory maternity leave (as there is no longer any employment with that employer from which to take such leave).  In this scenario, only your husband will be eligible to take shared parental leave (as your lack of entitlement to statutory maternity leave disqualifies you).  Therefore the overall amount of shared parental leave that is available will be at the disposal of your husband only, providing he meets the conditions.

*Samantha Tanney assisted with answering this question.

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