Parental Leave - UK

HR - Process Bliss

Parental leave allows employees to take time off work to look after a child. This leave is normally unpaid and is available for each child up to their 18th birthday.

Parental leave should not be confused with shared parental leave which is an entitlement that allows parents to split maternity or adoption leave between them.

The leave can start once the child is born or adopted, or as soon as the employee has completed twelve months service, whichever is later.

Parental leave should usually be taken in blocks of a week unless agreed otherwise with the employer. If the child is disabled, parental leave can be taken in days rather than weeks.

This process features on our list of 25 processes every business needs.

1Receive written notice of the employee's request for parental leave

Importance: Essential

The employee should write in a letter or email.

2Check the employee's entitlement to parental leave

Importance: Essential

If the employee is not entitled to parental leave, use the template letter attached.

Parental Leave Request Rejected Letter Template.docx

2.1Does the employee qualify for parental leave?

Importance: Optional

In order to qualify for parental leave an individual must:

- be an employee
- have been employed continuously by their employer for at least twelve months
- if an employee has qualified for parental leave but then changes employment, they must work for their new employer for twelve months before they can take further parental leave

The employee must also have a child under the age of 18 and:

- be named on the child's birth certificate
- be named on the child's adoption certificate
- have legal parental responsibility for the child

If the child's parents are separated or the employee does not live with the child, they have the right to parental leave if they keep formal parental responsibility for the child.

Does the employee qualify?:

2.2Does the employee have enough entitlement balance remaining to fulfil the request?

Importance: Optional

Qualifying employees are entitled to take up to eighteen weeks of parental leave per child.

Do they enough leave left?:

2.3Is the request for four weeks for less?

Importance: Optional

Qualifying employee's can take parental leave at any time up until the child's 18th birthday but cannot take more than four weeks in any one year.

Number of weeks requested:

2.4Has sufficient notice been given?

Importance: Optional

To request parental leave an employee should give at least 21 days' notice to their employer.

If an employee wants to take parental leave straight after the birth or adoption of a child they should give 21 days' notice before the expected week of childbirth or placement.

Amount of notice given:

3Decide whether to grant or postpone the request

Due: 6 days after task is started

Importance: Essential

If a period of parental leave is going to disrupt the business, the employer has the option of postponing the leave for up to six months after the original requested start date.

Parental leave cannot be postponed immediately following a birth or adoption.

If an employer postpones a period of parental leave they must ensure that the requested period of leave is completed before the child's 18th birthday, even if this is less than six months away from the date of the original request.

Postpone or grant leave:

3.1Notify the employee's line manager of the request

Importance: Optional

Email Subject: Parental Leave Request

Dear _____________,

Parental leave allows employees to take time off work to look after a child. This leave is normally unpaid and is available for each child up to their 18th birthday.

Qualifying employee's can take the parental leave at any time up until the child's 18th birthday but cannot take more than four weeks in any one year.

If a period of parental leave is going to disrupt the business, the employer has the option of postponing the leave for up to six months after the original requested start date.

Parental leave cannot be postponed immediately following a birth or adoption.

If an employer postpones a period of parental leave they must ensure that the requested period of leave is completed before the child's 18th birthday, even if this is less than six months away from the date of the original request.

[EMPLOYEE] is a qualifying employee and has requested to take parental leave.

The first day of parental leave has been requested to commence on [DATE] and the last day of the parental leave has been requested to end on [DATE]. [EMPLOYEE] has requested to return to work on [DATE].

Please could you reply to this email by [DATE] with you view/thoughts on this request.

3.2Write to the employee

Due: 6 days after task is started

Importance: Essential

Use the applicable attached letter template.

If an employer is going to postpone the leave they must write to the employee within seven days of receiving their request stating why the leave is being postponed and giving new dates for the leave to be taken.

Parental Leave Request Granted Letter Template.docx
Parental Leave Request Postponed Letter Template.docx
Upload signed letter:

3.3Add letter to the employees personnel file

Importance: Optional

Add a link to the personnel records here!

3.4Confirm with the manager whether the request was granted or postponed

Importance: Optional

Email Subject: Parental Leave Request

Dear payroll,

[EMPLOYEE] parental leave request was GRANTED/POSTPONED FOR XX MONTHS/WEEKS.

The first day of parental leave will commence on [DATE] and the last day of the parental leave will be [DATE]. [EMPLOYEE] will return to work on [DATE].

Payroll have been notified.

4Add the parental leave to the time off calendar/schedule

Importance: Optional

Add a link to the company's time off calendar/schedule here!

5Notify payroll

Importance: Essential

Email Subject: Parental Leave Request

Dear payroll,

[EMPLOYEE] will be taking parental leave.

The first day of parental leave will commence on [DATE] and the last day of the parental leave will be [DATE]. [EMPLOYEE] will return to work on [DATE].

The parental leave will be PAID/UNPAID leave.

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