EU rules extending the right to unpaid parental leave from 13 weeks to 18 weeks are now in force.
Working parents who have been employed for a year or more are now entitled to take unpaid parental leave to care for their children. This is addition to to any maternity, paternity or adoption leave they qualify for.
This leave – which is now 18 weeks per parent, per child – must be taken before the child’s fifth birthday of the fifth anniversary of their placement for adoption.
Under the satutory scheme, no more than four weeks’ leave can be taken in any one year, and leave must be taken in one-week blocks (although the rules do allow negotiation between the employer and employee to vary this).
These rules only cover employees and not workers (see Employment Considerations and Models in the Human Resources page).