This line manager briefing looks at the law and best practice on parental leave, including eligibility to take parental leave, employees' rights
during and after parental leave, and the choices available regarding the
scheduling of parental leave.
It should be noted that the rights and duties discussed in this
briefing are the minimum statutory rights and duties. Individual employers may
offer their employees contractual entitlements over and above the minimum
statutory rights. Employees' contractual terms may therefore be the source of
further rights and duties that line managers will be required to take into
Parental leave is a legal entitlement for both men and women. It is a period of up to 18 weeks' unpaid leave for employees who are the parents of
children aged under five, or under 18 in certain circumstances. (Prior to 8 March 2013, employees had a right to take up to 13 weeks' parental leave, or 18 if the child was disabled.) It should
not be confused with ordinary paternity leave (which entitles employees to take one or two weeks' paid leave within eight weeks of the birth or adoption of a child) or additional paternity leave (which entitles eligible employees to a further period of 26 weeks' leave where the child's mother or adopter returns to work before the child's first birthday or within the first year of the child's placement for adoption).
- Eligibility for parental leave
- Duration and scheduling of parental leave
- Rights during parental leave
- Return to work after parental leave
- Formulating procedures and rules on parental leave
- Enforcement of employees' rights
- Test yourself
Back to top
1. Eligibility for parental leave
Following the birth a child, eligible employees are entitled to
take up to 18 weeks' parental leave before the child's fifth birthday (from 8 March 2013, prior limit 13 weeks' parental leave (18 where the child was disabled)).