Employees who have worked continuously for the same organisation for at least one year and who have parental responsibility for a child under the age of 18, have the legal right to take up to 18 weeks’ parental leave. Both men and women are eligible for parental leave. The law does not require periods of parental leave to be paid.

Parental leave is available to both parents and may be taken in respect of each child. For example, an employee who has two children under 18 years old would be entitled to take 18 weeks’ parental leave in respect of each of the two children, ie a total of 36 weeks’ parental leave (although not all at once). The employee’s partner would also be entitled to take the same amount of parental leave, provided they had a minimum of one year’s continuous service with their employer.


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