About Parental Allowance
The information on this page applies to those people who are expecting a baby or intending to adopt from 01 Jan 2021.
For people with babies expected on or before 31 Dec 2020 please see Maternity Allowance.
Parental Allowance is paid weekly to help you take time off work to have time to prepare or care for your child. It’s paid for a maximum of 32 weeks which can be shared with up to two parents.
The current rate for Parental Allowance is £224.98 a week, paid directly into your bank account. The amount is not increased if you have twins or triplets.
In addition to the Parental Allowance, we also offer another benefit called Parental Grant.
Parental Grant: single payment
How to claim Parental Allowance
You can claim your Parental Allowance by completing an online form.
Your midwife or social worker will fill in the first part of the online form with the relevant details. Your midwife or social worker will then email you a link to the form and you must fill in the rest of it.
This should be done shortly after your 28 week midwife appointment or the date of intention to adopt is set.
Eligibility for Parental Allowance
Your Paternal Allowance is based on your Social Security contributions.
We look back 1 year from the date that you want your Paternal Allowance to start and if you have paid contributions (or had your contributions credited) for that period, you’re likely to be entitled to some or all of the Paternal Allowance.
Paying contributions in another country
If you’ve paid Social Security contributions in another country during your relevant period, you may be eligible based on these contributions. Contact the Health Zone to find out more.
When your Parental Allowance can start
You can choose to start your Parental Allowance anywhere between 11 weeks before your due date and up to your due date or date of intention to adopt is set.
You must have finished work for your Parental Allowance to start.
How does it work
Parental Allowance is a weekly payment paid in arrears, for each parent, for the weeks that they take the leave.
Where there are two parents on a claim the allowance is payable to
- Parent 1: for 6 weeks (if birth mother, they must take six weeks immediately after the child’s birth)
- Parent 2: for 6 weeks at anytime in the two year period following the date of birth of the child or the date of intent to adopt
An additional 20 weeks is available to be shared between the parents as and when they choose within the two year period following the child’s date of birth or date of intent to adopt.
Parents can take their allocation of 32 weeks in a maximum of three blocks per person, spread out over a two year period, up to the child’s second birthday, or two years after the adoption.
Each block must be at least 14 days long, and there must be at least 14 days between your blocks. Where there are two parents on a claim they can choose to take their allowance at the same time, or at different times, and their blocks may overlap.
- parent one takes 6 compulsory weeks following date of birth
- parent two takes 6 weeks at any point
- each parent now has 2 blocks left to take the 20 weeks remaining
- each parent is free to split the remaining 20 weeks, for example:
- parent one could take all 20 in maximum of 2 blocks, or
- split with parent one and two equally with 10 weeks each with a maximum of 2 blocks each, or
- parent one takes one week and parent two takes 19 weeks, or
If parents are in dispute and cannot agree an allocation of weeks between themselves, we will divide the weeks equally between both parents, 16 weeks each. If there is only one parent on the claim the total allowance will be 32 weeks.
Working and claiming Parental Allowance: ‘keeping in touch’ time
You can’t work and claim Parental Allowance at the same time, however you are allowed to go into work for to 'Keep in touch'. ‘Keeping in touch’ time allows you to stay in touch with your work place while you’re off work to prepare or care for a child.
During your Parental Allowance claim, you:
- Can only work for up to 14 hours in any week
- Can only work for a maximum of 70 hours in total
- Cannnot undertake any work in the first 6 weeks following a birth if you are the birth mother
What counts as a 'keeping in touch' time
‘Keeping in touch’ time is counted each time you attend work. For example, a half day training course or a 1 hour meeting would count as keeping in touch time.
Babies born early
If your baby is born early and you've already given up work and started your Parental leave, your Parental Allowance won't be affected.
You won’t be able to claim Parental Allowance if your pregnancy lasts less than 24 weeks, unless a living child is born.
Babies born after their due dates
If your baby is born 8 or more days after your due date, you may be able to get your Parental Allowance extended.
You don’t need to do anything if your baby is born late, we will automatically update your claim for you.
Protecting your contribution record while claiming Parental Allowance
If you qualify for Parental Allowance, we’ll credit your Social Security contribution record for the same periods as your Parental Allowance payments.
Contribution credits protect your record as though contributions had been paid. They help your entitlement to benefits in the future.
Payment of contributions
Home responsibility protection credits
You may be able to protect your entitlement to a pension and Survivor’s Benefit with Home Responsibility Protection credits.
You can get these credits if you’re planning to:
- not return to work
- take unpaid leave
- work less than 20 hours per week
Home Responsibility Protection credits don’t cover you for sickness or future maternity benefits.
Contribution credits for parents working 20 hours or less: Home Responsibility Protection
Claiming Parental Allowance and Income Support
If you claim Income Support and start claiming Parental Allowance, your Income Support will be reduced by the amount of your Parental Allowance award. This is because Parental Allowance is considered as income.
Claiming Parental Allowance and other benefits
You can’t receive Parental Allowance and another contributory benefit at the same time.
Contributory benefits include:
- Short Term Incapacity Allowance
- Home Carer's Allowance
- Incapacity pension
- Survivors benefit
If this affects you, we’ll write to you to explain what benefits we’ll pay.
If you're outside of Jersey
If you're in another country and Jersey has a health agreement with that country which includes parental benefits, we may be able to pay Parental Allowance.
Speak to one of our advisors in the Health Zone if you’re planning on either having a baby or adopting outside of Jersey.
Contact Health Zone on +44 (0) 1534 444444.
Changes in your circumstances
You must let us know if you:
- return to work whilst in receipt of Parental Allowance
- change address
- change your bank account
- plan to leave Jersey for a short period or permanently (this may affect your entitlement so check with us before you leave)
- go to prison (your benefit can’t be paid for any part of a prison sentence)
- have any changes in your circumstances that would affect the payment of benefit to either parent