Unpaid Parental Leave
Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child’s welfare, for example,
spend more time with their children
look at new schools
settle children into new childcare arrangements
spend more time with family, such as visiting grandparents
Their employment rights are protected during parental leave.
Parental leave is unpaid. Employees are entitled to 18 weeks leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday.
The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise).
You must take parental leave as whole weeks (eg 1 week or 2 weeks) rather than individual days, unless your employer agrees otherwise or if your child is disabled. You don’t have to take all the leave at once.
Employees qualify if all of these apply:
they’ve been in the company for more than a year
they’re named on the child’s birth or adoption certificate or they have or expect to have parental responsibility
Employees must give 21 days’ notice before their intended start date. If they or their partner are having a baby or adopting, it’s 21 days before the week the baby or child is expected.
Employees must confirm the start and end dates in their notice. Unless an employer requests it, this doesn’t have to be in writing.