This is a preview. To continue reading, register for free access now. Register now or Log in

Ordinary parental leave

Updating author: Jo Broadbent, Hogan Lovells

Brightmine editor: Laura Merrylees


  • The employed (birth and adoptive) parents of a child under the age of 18 each have the legal right to take up to 18 weeks' unpaid parental leave until the child's 18th birthday. (See The right to ordinary parental leave)
  • The right to ordinary parental leave arises in respect of each child. (See The right to ordinary parental leave)
  • To qualify for ordinary parental leave, an employee must have completed at least one year's continuous service with the employer and have, or expect to have, responsibility for a child. (See The right to ordinary parental leave)
  • Employers are free to agree their own ordinary parental leave procedures with their workforce. (See Procedures for taking ordinary parental leave)
  • If there is no agreement concerning ordinary parental leave, a "fallback scheme" applies. (See The fallback ordinary parental leave scheme)
  • When presented with a request for ordinary parental leave, an employer may insist on documentary evidence of parenthood or parental responsibility. (See Evidence of parenthood)
  • There is no obligation on employers to maintain records of ordinary parental leave taken. (See Records)
  • Generally speaking, a parent returning to work after a period of ordinary parental leave has the right to do so in the job that they occupied when that period of parental leave began. (See Return to work after ordinary parental leave)