Having a new child should be a happy, meaningful time in your life, not a set-back in your career
Sometimes problems can arise if you request an extension of your parental leave, or if the business is restructured while you are on leave. This can create unnecessary stress that turns the leave period into a nightmare.
Who gets parental leave entitlements?
Anyone who has worked for their employer for at least twelve months is entitled to twelve months’ unpaid parental leave, if he or she is responsible for caring for a newborn or adopted child. A pregnant employee is entitled to commence leave at least six weeks before the expected birth of her child.
An employee on parental leave may request a further twelve months’ leave from their employer. This request can only be refused on reasonable grounds.
Rights of employees on parental leave
- The employer must take all reasonable steps to give the employee information and to discuss their leave. This would cover such things as status, pay or location of the employee’s pre-parental leave position.
- An entitlement to return to work for ‘keeping in touch days’.
- An entitlement to return to their pre-parental leave position. Or if that position no longer exists, to return to an available position for which they are qualified and suited and is the nearest in status and pay to their pre-parental leave position.
- A right to request flexible work arrangements on returning to work if they have a responsibility to care for a young child. This can only be refused on reasonable business grounds.
How can we help?
Our specialist employment lawyers are here to help you ensure that your parental leave period is as smooth as possible by offering advice on:
- Your rights to take parental leave and extend it.
- Your rights to be kept in the loop by your employer while you are on leave.
- Your entitlements on your return to work.
- A cost-effective strategy to enforce your rights against your employer in the event that they do not comply with them.
Whether you’re planning to take parental leave in the future, or are on leave and getting ready to return to work, we’re here to help.
Please get in touch with our experienced workplace lawyers to ensure that your employer respects your parental leave rights.