Know Your Parental Leave Rights

Did you know? The current UK birth rate is at an all-time low, at around 1.8 children per woman. It is an exciting time in your life when you are about to welcome a new family member, however, what happens during maternity or paternity leave isn’t always clear for a lot of employees. Here at Stafffinders, we have done our research from the "Maternity and Paternity pay and leave" goverment website. Here’s what you need to know!

Maternity Leave

The UK is rather generous in comparison to other European countries in terms of maternity leave. If you are eligible for statutory maternity leave, then you can take up to 52 weeks off work. The first 26 weeks are known as ordinary maternity leave, whereas the following 26 weeks are additional. The earliest you can start your leave is 11 weeks before the due date. Don’t fancy this much time off work? Employees must take at least 2 weeks off work after having a child, 4 weeks if you are a factory worker.

New mothers only receive statutory maternity pay for 39 weeks of their 52-week possible maternity leave. For the first six weeks off from work, you will be paid 90% of your average weekly salary. After which you will only be paid £145.18 per week, or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings if this is a lower amount. If you decide to take the full 52 weeks off, then the last 13 will be unpaid.

It is recommended to stay in touch with your employer during your leave. This can either be done by telephone, email or visiting. Alternatively, you are also allowed to work for up to ten days during your maternity leave without it affecting your agreed maternity pay. These are called 'keeping in touch days' and can be for catching up, attending a seminar or even training. However, you are under no obligation to work them as is the employer under no obligation to offer them.

Paternity Leave

Fathers also have the right to some time off after their child is born. They can take up to two weeks leave either at once or split at any time after birth until the child turns one year old. The father is still entitled to this leave regardless if the parents are still together or not, just if the dad is involved in providing childcare. Unlike the mother, the father must have been working at the same company for at least 11 weeks before the baby was conceived, and stay with their employer while they take their paternity leave.

Stafffinders has you covered!

Are you looking for staff to cover maternity or paternity? Stafffinders have you covered! We offer temporary recruitment service across many sectors. Get in touch with us today and put your recruitment in safe hands.

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