Parental Leave

It is important to be aware of the difference between Parental and Paternity leave. Parental leave is a form of statutory unpaid leave available to some working parents in addition to statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave. It can last up to 13 weeks and can be flexible in terms of the time at which it is taken and the way in which the total leave entitlement may be split up into a number of shorter periods (unlike maternity, paternity or adoption leave).

All employees who have completed one year's service with their employer and who have, or expect to have, responsibility for a child are entitled to Parental Leave.

The 13 weeks' Parental Leave applies up to the child's fifth birthday (a child's 18th birthday in cases of disability).

In order to take Parental leave, you must be aware of the following:

  • The 13 weeks' parental leave MUST be taken in blocks or multiples of one week.
  • Notice should be given by the employee to the employer of when the leave will begin, at least 21 days before that start date.
  • A maximum of 4 weeks per year may be taken by an employee and an employer can postpone an employee's right to take Parental Leave because of business requirements. However such postponement cannot take place immediately after the child's birth.

All employees are allowed unpaid leave in case of emergency involving a dependant. A dependant can be defined as a child, spouse, parent etc.

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