A parent, or someone with caring responsibility for a child, can seek a period of parental leave from their employer. In summary, parental leave is unpaid leave (unless the employer allows for paid leave) and its purpose must be the care of the child. The rights also apply to adoptive parents.
Since March 2013, employees are also entitled to unpaid parental leave of up to four months for each parent and in relation to each child; and unpaid parental leave of up to 18 weeks for each parent and in relation to each disabled child.
The right to parental leave only applies to parents of children aged under 5, unless the child receives disability living allowance in which case the right continues until the age of 18.
To quality, employees need one year’s continuous service. The leave must be taken for the purpose of caring for the child and parents cannot take more than four weeks leave per child per year. The employee must give proper notice of the request and an employer can postpone the request for up to six months on business grounds.
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