HR Policy Team
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Are you entitled to parental leave?

You have the right to parental leave if you:

  • have been employed with us for a year or more
  • are an employee with a contract of employment with the Council

and you:

  • are a parent named on the child's birth certificate or
  • are named on the child's adoption certificate or
  • have legal parental responsibility for a child under five (18 if disabled)

If you qualify for parental leave you have the right to take unpaid time off work to look after the child/children 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.

A maximum of eighteen weeks of unpaid leave can be taken by each employed person who has a child up to the age of five years old or in the cases of adoption five years from the date of placement (or the child's eighteenth birthday, if that is sooner).

If the child is disabled, the entitlement is a maximum of eighteen weeks of parental leave, up to the child’s eighteenth birthday.

The minimum amount of leave taken will be one week for any block leave period. The maximum amount of leave that can be taken in any leave year (1 April to 31 March) is four weeks. If your child has a disability, you can take time off in days instead of weeks, so you could use parental leave for regular hospital visits (if required).

Employees who qualify and wish to take this leave need to make a request to their line manager, giving a minimum of 21 days' notice.

Can your parental leave be postponed?

Unless you want to take parental leave immediately after the birth or adoption, your Assistant Director can postpone your leave for up to six months if they feel it would disrupt the service. Reasonable grounds to postpone your leave could include:

  • The period that you apply for is at a seasonal peak
  • If a significant proportion of the workforce has applied for parental leave at the same time
  • If your role is such that your absence at a particular time would unduly harm the service

Your line manager will discuss this with you and confirm the postponement arrangements in writing.

Further information is available to below:

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