On completion of one year's service, employees are entitled to 13 weeks (in total) of unpaid parental leave for each child born or adopted. The leave can start once the child is born or placed for adoption, or on completion of one year’s service - whichever is later.
Parental leave can be taken at any time up to the child's fifth birthday (or until five years after placement in the case of adoption). If the child has disabilities,18 weeks can be taken up to the child's 18th birthday.
An employee should make a request to you giving 21 days’ notice of the start date of the parental leave. You may ask for this in writing. As long as the employee qualifies for parental leave and gives you the correct notice, they should be able to take parental leave at any time.
If the employee wants to take parental leave straight after the birth or adoption of a child, they should give notice 21 days before the beginning of the expected week of childbirth or placement. If this is not possible, for example, the child is born prematurely or they receive less than 21 days’ notice that a child is to be placed with them for adoption, they should give notice to you as soon as possible.
Parental leave should be taken in blocks of a week or multiples of a week, and should not be taken as "odd" days off. No more than four weeks off in a year may be taken. A week is based on the employee’s normal working pattern.
While on parental leave, the employee remains employed under the same terms and conditions of employment.
Contact us for more information on parental leave.