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Employers' Guide to HR

Parental Leave

Employees have the right to unpaid time off work in order to care for children who are their respsonsibility. This right exists until the child's fifth birthday, or 18th if the child is disabled. The right increased from 13 weeks to 18 weeks from 8th March 2013.
Last Modified on: 2004/05/17 18:31
Last Reviewed on: 2013/03/08 16:35

What is parental leave and when can it be taken?

The right of employees to take parental leave is contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 (the Regulations).  The entitlement is in addition to the right to take maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Both male and female employees with at least 1 year's continuous service qualify for 18 weeks' unpaid leave in respect of each child up to it's 5th birthday, for whom the employee has parental responsibility, for any purpose connected with the care of that child.  In the case of a child entitled to a disability living allowance, the period of leave can be taken up to the child's 18th birthday.

An employer may request from the employee proof of their responsibility for the child together with a copy of the child's birth certificate, proof of ...


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