Increase to Parental Leave and flexible working changes

From 8th March 2013, eligible parents will have an increased entitlement to parental leave. Currently, entitlement extends only to 13 weeks. From this date, entitlement will increase to 18 weeks per child.

Statutory parental leave is taken in order to care for a child, and this means looking after the welfare of a child or making arrangements for the good of the child. For example, parental leave may be taken to accompany the child during a stay in hospital, or investigating new schools.

Employees are entitled to take parental leave if they have at least one year’s continuous service. Parental leave may only be taken during the first five years of the child’s life, or in the case of adoption, in the first five years after the date the child was placed or until the child’s 18th birthday, whichever is sooner.

Parents of disabled children are already entitled to take 18 weeks parental leave prior to the child’s 18th birthday. Also from 8th March 2013 employed agency workers will have the right to request flexible working on their return from parental leave.

For any further clarification, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.

by Nicola Mullineux