Confused by your employees’ parental rights? Not anymore…
Rights to time off for family reasons e.g. maternity, paternity and adoption leave begin even before the child is born or adopted because parents–including fathers–are allowed to take time off work to attend ante-natal and adoption appointments. Shifts can be arranged around these, or paid time off provide during a shift.
Leave entitlements – what do you need to discuss with your staff?
Before your employee goes on leave, discuss with them what will happen during the time off about keeping in contact; how annual leave entitlement will be used up; whether the employee might use Keeping In Touch (KIT) days for certain pre-booked events etc. There are no KIT days with paternity leave because it is comparatively short, but the maximum entitlement to statutory maternity and adoption leave is 52 weeks, meaning your employee could be away from your business for up to a year.
To pay or not to pay?
Make sure you pay employees correctly during their time off. Some time off for family reasons is paid and some isn’t. In the main, where time off is paid, it will be on a reduced level set by the law and sometimes what you pay out can be claimed back from the Government regardless of the size of your organisation.
Can I employ somebody else?
Keep the employee’s job open for them – they have a legal right to come back to work for you at the end of their family-related leave, but the exact details of the job they can come back to depends on how long they take off.
What about dismissals and redundancies of pregnant staff?
Don’t dismiss someone because they are pregnant because there are special protections in place for pregnant women. It’s likely to be seen as pregnancy discrimination or sex discrimination if this happens.
To get some immediate advice on any issues, call one of our expert advisors on 0800 028 2420. Alternatively, request a free consultation with our experienced team.