Maternity and Parental Leave

Employees have wide ranging entitlements to maternity and parental leave. The provisions are complex. It is important that employers adhere to the provisions. If not, the employer runs the risk of a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination. This can result in:-

  • Financial penalty. The compensatory award is now £74,200 for unfair dismissal and unlimited for discrimination.
  • Adverse publicity.
  • Unnecessary time wasted.

Maternity Leave Provisions

Female employees who qualify are entitled to:-

  • Paid time off for antenatal care.
  • 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave plus a further 26 weeks additional maternity leave.
  • Protection from dismissal by reason of pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Maternity pay.
  • Return to work after maternity leave.
  • An offer of alternative work before being suspended on maternity grounds.
  • Remuneration on suspension on maternity grounds.

Parental Leave Provisions

Parents (both mother and father) who have 1 years service are entitled to the following:-

  • Unpaid leave to look after a child.
  • Protection from dismissal.
  • Right to return to the same or similar job.

Provisions include:-

  • 13 weeks unpaid leave (4 weeks in one year) to be taken before child’s 5th birthday.
  • Usually taken in blocks of one week or more.
  • 21 days notice must be given by the employee.
  • Parental leave may be postponed in some circumstances.
  • Special rules for disabled children (including up to 18 weeks leave).

Always take legal advice!

These comments are provided for guidance only. Each situation has to be examined on its own merits and circumstances and you should not, therefore, rely upon the above without taking specific legal advice in relation to any particular matter.

Specialist advice can be obtained from 
Alan Matthew in our Dundee Office (tel: 01382 200 000) or
from Emma Allan in our Perth Office (tel: 01738 637 311)

February 2013

Business First

If you would like to speak to us about any services or have and questions please contact us by filling out the form. 

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Perth Office

Legal Office: 01738 637311
Estate Agency Office: 01738 630222

Dundee Office

Legal Office: 01382 200000
Estate Agency Office: 01382 200301

Crieff Office

Legal Office: 01764 655151
Estate Agency Office: 01764 670077