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Parental Leave

Employees with more than one year's service who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to take up to 18 weeks of Parental Leave for the purposes of caring for a child.

Parental Leave - the Deets

Employees who qualify can take up to four weeks of Parental Leave per child per year up to a maximum of 18 weeks total.

Parental Leave is unpaid and must be taken in blocks of 1 week or multiples of 1 week, unless it is for the purposes of caring for a child who qualifies as disabled in which case it can be broken down into blocks of 1 day.

Employees continue to be employed during Parental Leave and continue to accrue annual leave.

Employees who are prevented from taking Parental Leave or who suffer a detriment as a result of taking Parental Leave may bring a claim to tribunal.


Parental leave is only available for employees who have at least one year's continuous service with their employer. If an employee changes employer and has not already used their entire parental leave entitlement, they can only take any remaining parental leave once they have completed a year's service.

Both parents of a child are eligible to take parental leave. To be eligible, the employee must have, or expect to have, responsibility for the child.

An employee will be entitled to parental leave if they:

  • are the parent of a child who is under 18 years of age; or

  • have acquired formal parental responsibility for a child who is under 18 years of age; or

  • have adopted a child under the age of 18.


Employees must give at least 21 days notice of their intent to take Parental Leave.

Employers can postpone the parental leave if it considers that the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted by the employee taking leave at that time. It must do this within seven days of receiving the employee's notice. The employer must:

  • agree to allow the employee to take the same period of leave at a specified later date

  • consult the employee about the new start date, which must be within six months of the date the employee originally requested

  • write to the employee confirming the postponement, the reasons for it and the new dates when leave will start and end.

Parental Leave & Other Leave

Employees can utilise Parental Leave in conjunction with other types of family leave such as Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Adoption Leave etc. But it should be noted that employees cannot be on more than one type of leave at once.


If you're unsure of how to manage Parental Leave in your business, why not make the most of our special offer for April! Book a 30 minute consult call with our HR Warrior Princess for under £100!

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