The right to take parental leave is independent of the right to take maternity, paternity or adoption leave.
It is available to birth and adoptive parents or to anyone who has or expects to have parental responsibility for a child. However, they must meet certain criteria. The parent must have been employed for at least 1 year with the same company.
Employees are entitled to take 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave for each child they are responsible for. A part-time employee is entitled to parental leave pro rata to the number of days they work in a week.
There is no statutory pay for parental leave. Therefore, any periods taken will be unpaid. However, the employee will continue to benefit from statutory rights. For example, accrual of statutory holiday.
Parental leave must be taken in blocks of 1 week at a time. However, it may be taken one day at a time in the case of a disabled child. A maximum of four weeks’ parental leave per child is allowed in any one year. Up to a maximum of 18 weeks and until the child reaches its 18th birthday.
Parental leave applies to each child not to an individual’s job. For example, an employee is entitled to 18 weeks per child. They’ve used 10 with a previous employer. They can use up to 8 weeks with their new employer if they are eligible.
The right to parental leave may operate alongside other leave entitlement. For example, maternity, paternity and adoption leave. Guidance should be sought from the employer for eligibility and the notification requirements in these circumstances.
Parental leave must be used only for the purpose of looking after a child and for no other reason. Any abuse of this policy can be treated as a disciplinary matter.
If you want to find out more about your obligations as an employer regarding your employee’s rights to parental leave, give us a call – 01706 565332
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.