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General Parental Rights

General Parental Rights

Employees who have completed one year's service with an employer are entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid ‘ordinary’ parental leave for each child born or adopted. Subject to their qualification for parental leave and the correct notice being given to their employer, an employee should be able to take parental leave at any time up to the child’s 18th birthday.

The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is four weeks for each child.

Parental leave can be taken in addition to any maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave entitlements.

Shared parental leave

Eligible parents who are sharing responsibility for a child can take up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave after:

  • The birth of their child
  • Adopting a child
  • Getting a parental order if they had the child through surrogacy.

In order to be eligible for shared parental leave, the parent who intends to take shared parental leave must:

  • Have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before their baby is due or their adoption match date
  • Still be working for the same employer a week before the start of each block of leave they take
  • Be legally classified as an employee.

Eligible parents can receive up to 37 weeks of statutory shared parental pay

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