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5 things that you need to know about parental leave

Category: Industry News

Working Forward Supporting Pregnancy and Maternity Rights Logo

Parental leave is something that can often be confusing for people to get their head around, particularly during such a busy time in their life. That is why are trying to help you understand what your rights are as a working parent on maternity, paternity or adoption leave.  

1. What you need to know about statutory maternity leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to take 52 weeks’ maternity leave regardless of the amount of time that they have worked at an organisation. However, to qualify for statutory maternity pay, a pregnant employee must meet certain eligibility criteria. Statutory maternity leave is only payable for up to 39 weeks, the first six weeks are payable at 90% of an employees’ average weekly earnings. After the first six weeks, the remaining 33 weeks are paid at the flat rate that is in force at the time or at 90% of an employees’ average weekly earnings, when this figure is less than the flat rate.

2. What you need to know about statutory adoption leave

If an employee has adopted a child, or who is part of a couple who has jointly adopted a child then they are entitled to take 52 weeks’ adoption leave; this is also something that is available to employees regardless of how long they have been with an organisation. Statutory adoption pay is the same as statutory maternity pay, please see the above section for additional information on this.

3. What you need to know about statutory paternity leave

If an employee is the biological father of a child, or the mother’s husband or partner, then they have the right to take between one to two-weeks’ consecutive paternity leave. This also applies to individuals in a couple that have jointly adopted a child or an individual who is the spouse or partner of someone who has adopted a child. In order to qualify for paternity leave, an employee must have served a minimum amount of time at an organisation and this time varies by employer. Employees are entitled to between one to two weeks’ statutory paternity pay if they meet certain eligibility requirements. In addition to this, statutory paternity pay is paid at the flat rate that is in force at the time or at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, when the figure is less than the flat rate that is in force.

4. What you need to know about shared parental leave

Shared parental leave is available to both mothers and fathers (or the mothers partner) and to those who are adopting (and their partners). This leave enables mothers or those who are adopting to bring their maternity or adoption leave and pay to an end and decide to take shared parental leave and pay with their partners. The couple may share 50 weeks of shared parental leave between them. In order to gain shared parental leave, both the mother or adopter and his/ her partner must meet eligibility requirements. They must also both comply with the relevant curtailment, notice and evidence requirements. In addition to this, all the shared parental leave must be taken within the first 52 weeks after their child’s birth or placement for adoption. If the individuals are eligible to receive statutory shared parental leave then they can receive up to 37 weeks’ pay to share between them.

5. What you need to know about ordinary parental leave

Ordinary parental leave is available to any parent who is the birth or adoptive parent of a child under the age of 18. This leave gives employees the right to take up to 18 weeks’ leave to care for their child, until they reach their 18th birthday. To qualify for ordinary parental leave, employees need to have served a minimum amount of time with their employer. Ordinary parental leave is unpaid.

Here are just some of our members who offer parenting initiatives:

BTare joining companies such as Royal Mail to work towards a leading coalition of business in the initiative ‘Working Forward – supporting pregnancy and maternity rights’. Marc Allera, Chief Executive of EE from the BT Group, said: We are committed to creating a work environment that is fully supportive of pregnant women and new mothers and we’re proud to have a higher than average return to work rate of women after maternity leave of 86%.”

Santander are proud that their Shared Parental Leave scheme includes grandparents, this gives their employees greater flexibility over their work life balance. The innovative scheme, allows all new parents to share their parental leave with their parents as well as their partners, is available to all Santander employees. By using the online benefits portal, wearesantander, employees are able to build a rewards package that suits their unique needs, dependent on the level and role.

If you are interested in a career with any of the employers who have been mentioned above, please click on their name to be directed to their current vacancies.

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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