Family-friendly rights

With the demands of work and family life it can be difficult for working parents to balance all of the competing demands on their time.

Your ability to strike the right balance can often depend on how flexible your employer is prepared to be. As a result, working parents and carers have the right to the following:

Maternity leave and pay

Every woman who is an employee is entitled to 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave (OML) followed by 26 weeks’ additional maternity leave (AML).

Paternity leave and pay

If you take time off because your partner’s having a baby – adopting a child – or having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement – you may be eligible for 1 or 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave and Shared Parental Leave if your child was due or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015.

Adoption leave and pay

Certain employees who have been matched with a child may take up to 52 weeks adoption leave, and may be entitled to 39 weeks of statutory adoption pay. If a couple jointly adopt a child, one may take adoption leave and the other parent may be able to take paternity leave or shared parental leave

Parental leave

You may have the right to take unpaid time off work to look after your child or make arrangements for their welfare. It can help you spend more time with your child and strike a better balance between your work and family commitments.

Flexible working

Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service can formally request flexible working i.e. to change their hours or to work from home.

Part-time working

A refusal to permit a woman to work part-time or arrive or leave at certain hours may amount to sex discrimination.

This is a complex area of law and enforcing your rights requires you to follow the correct procedure. If you do not get the process correct you may forfeit your entitlement to your work and family rights. It is recommended that you take legal advice as soon as possible if you believe that any of the family friendly rights apply to you so that we can guide you through the procedure. In addition, if you think that your rights have been infringed then please contact us as soon as possible so that we can take the necessary action to enforce your rights.

We can often agree to deal with your case on a No Win No Fee basis – offering you extra peace of mind.


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