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Make parental leave policies

Manage your employees effectively by making the correct HR policies


Parental leave policies FAQs

  • What is parental leave?

    Employees with 12 months' service have the right to take up to 18 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their child before the child's 18th birthday (or 18th anniversary of adoption). Employers can choose to enhance parental leave rights but must provide at least the statutory minimum. A Parental leave policy will help to explain matters such as eligibility, the employer's right to postpone, and what happens when an employee returns to work after leave. For more information, read Parental leave.

  • What is shared parental leave?

    Shared parental leave (SPL) allows parents of a child born after 4 April 2015 more flexibility to share time off work to care for their child during its first year of life. SPL is not to be confused with parental leave, which will continue to be available to parents who qualify, as will maternity leave, ordinary paternity leave (not additional paternity leave) and adoption leave. Adoptive parents have the same rights to SPL and shared parental pay. Conditions about eligibility apply. A Shared parental leave policy can help make clear to your employees how to apply for it and how to qualify for it. For more information, read Shared parental leave.

  • What is maternity leave?

    Employees who become mothers have the legal right to take up to 12 months' leave upon giving birth. In order to be eligible, they are required to give notice of their pregnancy in a specific form and must inform their employer when they want to start their maternity leave. During most of this period, they are entitled to certain levels of statutory maternity pay (SMP). A Maternity policy can be extremely useful. It'll help to keep employees informed on when leave can be taken, the required notification and SMP levels. For more information, read Maternity leave.

  • What is paternity leave?

    Employees with six months' service who become fathers have the right to take up to two weeks' leave within 56 days of the birth of their child, known as ordinary paternity leave (OPL). For children born before 5 April 2015, they can take up to a further 26 weeks of leave, known as additional paternity leave (APL). There is also an entitlement to statutory paternity pay (SPP) at a fixed statutory rate during the OPL period. Consider introducing a Paternity policy that can help managers and staff to understand paternity leave rights and obligations, as well as the SPP issues. For more information, read Paternity leave.

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Legal guides

  1. Family leave and rights
    2 min read
  2. Maternity leave
    4 min read
  3. Parental leave
    6 min read
  4. Paternity leave
    5 min read
  5. Shared parental leave
    5 min read
  6. Adoption leave and pay
    8 min read
  7. Carer’s leave
    5 min read

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