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Working parents rights


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Working parents rights at work

When you’re trying to juggle work and family it can often become a real struggle. Things don’t always go according to plan when you have kids – there are times when you may need to take time off to look after them if they are sick. Or, there could be an emergency at the school and you need to finish work early. Being a parent does sometimes affect your work and for that reason here are working parents rights for you to read through.

Most employers are good with parental issues: many offer flexible working hours and won’t moan at you if something crops up. However, not everybody is fortunate enough to work with such an understanding boss. Reading up on your rights will help you to deal with any tricky issues that might present themselves.

What rights do you have as a working parent?

When you’re a working parent, the minimum rights you have are:

  • You can request flexible working hours
  • Unpaid and paid maternity/paternity leave
  • Unpaid and paid adoption leave
  • Unpaid time off if you need to unexpectedly take care of a dependant

It’s worth noting that same sex couples also have the same parental rights. Your employer cannot discriminate because of your sexual orientation.

Working father’s rights

If you’re a working father you’ll be entitled to up to two week’s paternity leave. This is usually paid, though there may be exceptions. Paternity leave is typically taken straight after the child is born. You have up to 56 days after the birth to decide whether or not you want to take paternity leave.

You can also request paternity leave for adoptions providing you have been in employment for 26 weeks. Paternity leave for adoption is different to actual adoption leave, so check to see whether actual adoption leave would be a better option before you apply for this.

Sharing leave with your partner

working parent rightsAs of 3rd April 2011, a new law came into place where partners could share the maternity/paternity leave. This means if your partner didn’t actually use up all of their maternity or paternity leave before they went back to work, you can choose to take the rest of their leave off yourself.

Flexible working hours

If you’d like to apply for flexible working hours, your children have to be under the age of 17 or be under the age of 18 if they’re disabled. You’ll need to have worked for the employer for a minimum of 26 weeks before you can apply for flexible hours.

Flexible working hours can include part time, working from home sometimes, job sharing and working only school hours.

You have to put your flexible hour request in writing and you can only apply once a year. It’s worth noting that while you have the right to ask, your employer does not have to agree.

They do need to follow a certain procedure in order to make their decision however. You also have the right to appeal if you aren’t happy with the decision. However, this can be a long drawn out process that you may not even win, so it’s worth considering that before you decide whether or not to take further action.





About Jemma Porter

About Jemma Porter

Jemma Porter is an experienced content creator who has written for a number of online publications. A self-confessed penny pincher; she's often found seeking out the best personal finance deals.

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