Parental leave is granted in accordance with the regulations on parental leave under the Employment Rights Act 1996, Employment Relations Act 1999 and Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2001.
The right to parental leave entitles all eligible employees who have completed one year’s qualifying service to take a period of unpaid leave to care for each child born or adopted on or after 15 December 1994 (on or after 15 December 1981 in the case of a disabled child [see note 1 below]). This right lasts until the child's fifth birthday, or until five years have elapsed following placement in the case of adoption, or until the child’s 18th birthday in the case of a disabled child.
The right applies to mothers and fathers and to a person who has obtained formal parental responsibility for a child under the Children Act or its Scottish equivalent.
Parental leave is the right to take time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for the child’s welfare. Parents can use it to spend more time with children and strike a better balance between their work and family commitments.
Each parent can take 18 weeks [see note 2 below] parental leave in total for each child.
A maximum of four weeks’ parental leave in a year can be taken in respect of any individual child. The year starts with the birth date of the child, or the date that the child is placed for adoption.
Both mothers and fathers can take parental leave. You must either be named on the child’s birth certificate or have, or expect to have, parental responsibility under the law for the child. You do not have to be living with the child in order to qualify for parental leave. The right is also subject to the following conditions:
Employees with children born or adopted on or after 15 December 1999
- You must have completed one year’s continuous service with the University by the time you want to take the leave.
- The right to take the leave lasts until the child's fifth birthday, or until five years have elapsed following placement in the case of adoption, or until the child’s 18th birthday in the case of a disabled child.
Employees with children born or adopted between 15 December 1994 (15 December 1981 in the case of a disabled child) and 14 December 1999
- You must have completed one year's continuous service with the University, or a previous employer, between 15 December 1998 and 9 January 2002.
- The right to take leave lasts until 31 March 2005, or in the case of adoption until the child's 18th birthday if that is sooner, or until the child’s 18th birthday in the case of a disabled child.
[Note 1] For the purposes of parental leave, a disabled child is one for whom disability living allowance has been awarded.
[Note 2] One week’s parental leave is equal to the length of time that an employee is normally required to work in a week.