What is Parental Leave?

Eligible employees can take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave for each child for the purpose of caring for that child. The leave can be taken up to a child’s 18th birthday. Employees can take parental leave in addition to statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave, which are available on the birth or adoption of a child. Under the default statutory scheme, employees can take a maximum four weeks’ parental leave per child in any year; and must take leave in blocks of at least one week (other than for disabled children). You can alter the default scheme by enhancing employees’ rights or (if you use a properly implemented workforce or collective agreement) by designing a scheme which, in some limited respects, is less favourable to employees.

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