Adoptive Parents – Rights to Leave & Pay

Other family friendly rights

Right to apply to work flexibly

A right for parents of young, or disabled, children to request flexible working is being introduced. From 6 April 2003 eligible employees who are parents of children aged under six, or of disabled children aged under 18, will have the right to apply to work flexibly. Their employers will have a duty to consider such requests seriously.

Changes to maternity rights

Existing maternity rights are being changed to extend the period of maternity leave and pay, and to increase the rate of maternity pay. Women whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 6 April 2003 benefit from the new maternity leave and pay rights. See Maternity leave – changes .

Right to paid paternity leave (birth)

A right to paternity leave and pay (in connection with the birth of a child) is being introduced. Eligible employees can take paid time off to care for their new baby and support the mother. The right is available to employees whose children are expected to be born, or are born, on or after 6 April 2003. See Paternity – leave and pay .

Rights to parental leave and time off for dependants

Employees – both mothers and fathers – who have completed one year’s service with their employers are entitled to 13 weeks’ (unpaid) parental leave to care for their child. Parental leave can usually be taken up to five years from the date of birth or in cases of adoption five years from the date of placement (or the child’s 18th birthday, if that is sooner).

Parents of disabled children are entitled to 18 weeks’ parental leave (previously 13 weeks) up to the child’s 18th birthday, providing they have the qualifying length of service.

All employees are also entitled to take a reasonable amount of (unpaid) time off work to deal with an emergency or unexpected situation involving a dependant.

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