Fathers of children will be entitled to take a maximum 2 weeks leave from work when their partner gives birth, from September 2015. This will be called parental leave.
Other employees who will be able to take this leave are those who are:
- married to, or the civil partner, or partner of the mother of the child; or
- married to, or the civil partner, or partner of the adopter of the child; and
- Have or expect to have responsibility for the upbringing of the child (apart from the mother or adopter)
The above shows that parental leave can also be taken in the case of an adoption. It can also be taken by both male and female employees. Where a child is adopted by a couple, one of the couple will be entitled to take adoption leave, and the other will be entitled to take parental leave. It is for the couple to decide who will take which type of leave.
While the maximum amount of leave is 2 weeks, the employee can decide to take either two separate weeks, or one block of 2 weeks. Whichever the employee chooses, the earliest date that leave can be taken is the date of the birth/placement, and leave can only be taken in the 8 week period starting with the date of the birth/placement.
Employees will need to comply with certain notification requirements in order to take leave, such as letting you know how much leave they want to take and when it will start. In the case of birth, this notice must be provided no later than the end of the 15th
week before the expected week of childbirth. In the case of adoption, the notice must be provided no later than 7 days after the adopter (your employee’s partner) has received official notification of having been matched with a child for the purposes of adoption.
It will be unlawful to dismiss an employee for reasons connected to taking parental leave.
For more guidance, call our Advice Service on 0844 892 2788.