Parental Leave regulations specify that parental leave applies only for children born after 15th December 1999, the date the regulations came into force.
There is no entitlement for parental leave to be paid.
Who is entitled to parental leave?
An employee who has completed one year’s service and having or expecting to have parental responsibility for a child up until the child is 5 years old. Those with ‘parental’ responsibility include, parents, foster parents, adopters and guardians. When a child for whom Disability Living Allowance has been awarded, parental leave can be taken up until the child is 18 years old.
Where the child is adopted, parental leave can be taken up to 5 years after the child has been placed for adoption or until the child is 18 years old, whichever is the earliest.
Parental leave applies to each child. Therefore if an employee has twins, they will be entitled to 26 weeks parental leave.
How much time can be taken in parental leave?
Employees are entitled to 13 weeks parental leave until the child is 5 years old.
An additional 5 weeks is granted to those with responsibility for a child for whom Disability Living Allowance has been awarded. Employees can take a maximum of 4 weeks parental leave in any year in respect to any individual child however a single block of 13 weeks (or 18 weeks for a disabled child) may be considered in special circumstances.