Can an employee take a period of ordinary parental leave immediately following the end of their maternity leave?
There is nothing in law to prevent an employee from taking a period of ordinary parental leave immediately following the end of a period of maternity leave, provided that the usual conditions for taking ordinary parental leave are met. The employer has the right to postpone leave where it considers that the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted if the employee took ordinary parental leave at that particular time. However, the employer would need to make sure that there were pressing reasons for postponing the leave to avoid the risk of a tribunal claim that it had unreasonably postponed or prevented the employee from taking ordinary parental leave. When refusing the period of ordinary parental leave requested, the employer must offer the employee an alternative period of ordinary parental leave of equivalent length within the next six months.