As of today qualifying parents are entitled to an additional 5 weeks parental leave as the previous entitlement of 13 weeks per child increases to 18 weeks per child.
Parental leave is available to those with ‘parental responsibility’ for a child. The right is to 18 weeks unpaid leave per child which must be taken before the child’s 5th birthday (18th birthday if the child is disabled). The purpose of the leave must be to care for the child.
Employers may contractually vary parental leave entitlements and the way those entitlements are exercised provided the minimum requirements are met. In the absence of a contractual scheme operated by the employer, the legislation automatically imposes a default scheme.
During the parental leave period the employee benefits from certain contractual rights (similar to an employee on additional maternity leave).
If you would like a complimentary Parental Leave policy for inclusion in your handbook or other policy documents please email [email protected].