Increased parental leave

Posted: 1st April 2012

Any employee who has completed one year of continuous employment and who ‘has, or expects to have responsibility, for a child’ is entitled to take up to four weeks’ unpaid parental leave per year while their child is under age five (or under 18 if the child is disabled), subject to an overall maximum of 13 weeks’ leave in respect of each child.
As a result of an EU Directive, from March 2013 male and female workers are each entitled to at least 18 weeks’ parental leave until the child reaches a given age up to eight years, to be determined by each Member State. At least one of the four months is to be provided on a non-transferable basis.

The Directive also gives parents returning from parental leave the right to request, for a set period of time, changes to their working hours and/or patterns of work, and employers will have to respond to sPlayground 2uch requests taking into consideration both their own and their employees’ needs.
Whether or not the new Directive will make any difference to the habits of workers with responsibility for children remains to be seen as take-up of the full existing entitlement to unpaid parental leave is still relatively uncommon.