Leave for Family Events/Issues (including Dependants)

[Updated 19/08/2021] Rates applicable from 6th April 2021 ~

Quick references to various statutory employment rights in the UK are given below.  Being statutory, they serve as the minimum entitlement of employees.    Rates of payment are given for the current year and the rate for the previous year is shown in brackets.

Adoption Leave and Pay – Statutory Entitlement  ~

Eligibility

An individual must have 26 week’s continuous service with you by the date a child is matched for adoption.

Leave and Pay

  • Leave = 26 weeks Ordinary Adoption Leave plus 26 weeks Additional Leave
  • 39 weeks pay as follows:
    • the first 6 weeks = 90% of the individual’s gross average weekly earnings;
    • the next 33 weeks = whichever is lower of £151.97  (£151.20) a week or 90% of the person’s gross average weekly earnings.

Ante-Natal Appointments/Classes

Mothers

  • The right to a reasonable amount of time off with pay to attend appointments or parental classes recommended by a registered midwife or doctor.
  • An employer may request proof of an appointment for the second or subsequent appointments.

Fathers, Spouses and Civil Partners

  • The above or an individual who is in a long term relationship with the expectant mother are entitled to be given time off (without pay) to attend a maximum of two appointments.
  • The time off allowed is up to 6.5 hours per appointment which includes time for traveling, waiting and attendance at the appointment.
  • The employer does not have the right to demand proof of the appointment.
  • Note in a surrogacy arrangement, the intended parent may be entitled to the above.

Minimum Continuous Service requirement

  • No minimum service is required to qualify but you must be in permanent employment- except for agency workers who will need to have been working for 12 weeks to qualify.

Maternity Leave and Pay – Statutory Entitlement

Maternity Leave

Statutory Maternity Leave is up to 52 weeks: 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave plus 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave.

Mandatory maternity leave must be taken for the 2 weeks immediately following the birth of the baby; those weeks will normally count towards the Ordinary Maternity Leave. Factory workers must take 4 weeks mandatory maternity leave.

Maternity Pay  ~

Maximum payment of 39 weeks.
–  The first 6 weeks are paid at an average of 90% of weekly earnings.
–  The remaining 33 weeks are paid at the lower of either £151.97  (£151.20) per week  or 90% of average weekly earnings

During both Ordinary and Additional Maternity Leave, the contract continues except for the right to contractual remuneration. That is because the right to Statutory Maternity Pay will often arise. (N.B. certain other entitlements may be affected).

An employer is free to agree to pay normal remuneration during maternity leave rather than the lower statutory rates of pay

Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days – while on maternityleave

Up to 10 days may be used for working or training which will not break a woman’s statutory maternity leave.  The employer has discretion as to whether to provide any payment on such days.

No matter how short the time spent working or training on a day, that will count as one day of the total of 10 days permitted for KIT purposes.

TIP – take up of KIT days is voluntary by the woman but they can be useful in keeping an individual up to date with important changes and also as part of maing the transition back to work easier. Managers need to bear in mind that an individual may be reluctant to use such days particularly if the birth and/or after care was difficult

Parental Leave & Pay ~

Qualifying Conditions 

Parent must have one year’s continuous service and meet the age and time conditions:

  • If the child is disabled or in receipt of disability living allowance, the leave must be taken by the child’s 18th birthday;
  • If the child is adopted, leave is to be taken by the child’s 18th birthday or the 5th anniversary of their adoption, whichever comes first;
  • In other instances, leave must be taken before the child’s 5th birthday.

Leave Entitlement

  • 18 weeks unpaid leave for each child but only part of that may be taken in a year;
  • Maximum of 4 weeks leave can be taken in a year and must be taken in blocks of one or more weeks i.e. not as single days unless the employer agrees to that;
  • If desired, leave could be taken immediately after maternity leave.

Pay re Statutory Parental Leave

No statutory entitlement to be paid when taking statutory parental leave.

Parental Leave & Pay – Shared   ~

Shared leave will only be possible if the mother gives up part of her entitlement of 52 weeks maternity leave so that her spouse or partner may take those weeks to care for the child.

Note that the provisions for adoptive parents differ.

How Much Leave and Pay may be Shared?

Shared parental leave or pay can only be used after the baby is born. The number of weeks for sharing will be reduced by:

2 weeks mandatory maternity leave which must be taken by the mother following the birth of her child (4 weeks mandatory leave for a factory worker);

Any maternity leave taken before the child is born has to be deducted. For example, if 12 weeks maternity leave is taken before the birth, that will leave a maximum of 38 weeks maternity leave to share (52 – 2 mandatory – 12 before birth = 38 weeks).

TIP – find out how much shared parental leave and pay to which you may be entitled by using the Government provided calculator. It also shows when you need to give notice to take such leave.

Conditions for Shared Parental Leave and Pay

The Mother will be eligible for shared parental leave to care for her child if she:

  • has at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth and she remains in continuous employment with that employer until the week before any period of shared parental leave that she takes;
  • has the main responsibility for the care of the child at the date of the birth (apart from the responsibility of the child’s father or her partner)
  • is entitled to statutory maternity leave in respect of the child but sacrifices part of that entitlement i.e. shortens her statutory maternity leave by giving the relevant notice, or she returns to work before the end of the maternity leave period and
  • has complied with the relevant notice and evidence of birth requirements.

The Husband or Partner must meet different conditions: also apply to the other person sharing the period of leave/pay.

There are many points and condition to observe about such leave and pay – the full conditions can be seen at the Government website pages – https://www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay/when-you-can-start

Leave

  • Maximum of 52 weeks
  • The first two weeks is compulsory leave for the mother.
  • Up to 37 weeks (i.e. 39 less compulsory 2 weeks) may be shared.

Pay re Shared Parental Leave

Whichever is the lower of £151.97  (£151.20) a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings for up to 39 weeks but note that:
–  Any weeks in which the child’s mother or adopter has been in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Pay will reduce the pay entitlement period to less than 39 weeks.

Paternity Leave   ~ #

  • Leave must be taken in blocks of either one week or 2 consecutive weeks and in all cases must finish within 56 days of the birth of the child.
  • To change the start date of paternity leave, 28 days notice must be given.

Conditions 

  • He/she must have 26 week’s continuous service by the 15th week before the expected week of confinement;
  • Still be employed in the week before the leave starts (a week begins on Sunday);
  • Have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing;
  • Must be the biological father of the child or the mother’s husband or partner (including same sex relationships).

Pay
2 weeks pay at whichever is the lower of either £151.97  (£151.20) per week or 90% of average weekly earnings.

Urgent Domestic Circumstances

  • A reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with an immediate crisis involving a dependant individual (from a few hours to a few days, for example);
  • Time off is for a limited purpose e.g. to arrange a stand in carer or care arrangements or to deal with an accident at school to your own child.  It is not for personally looking after the dependant beyond the immediate crisis;
  • Dependant includes a spouse, civil partner, child or parent or grandparent or co-habitee living in the same household;
  • Dependant includes a person who reasonably relies on the individual for assistance if injured or ill or a normal care arrangement fails;
  • The employee must tell his employer as soon as reasonably practicable.

Qualifying Conditions
No minimum service but employer may take account of the amount and dates of earlier absences but inconvenience to the organisation is not a valid reason to decline such leave.

Pay
– No entitlement to pay – but employer may pay at his discretion.