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Rights of working parents

Workplace discrimination towards pregnant women

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Rights for Working Parents

Knowing the rights of working  parents can be a mine field of archaic beliefs, out-dated information and a fear of the power of business owners, but as a working parent your rights and ultimately the rights of your children are protected by law. Some of you may be fully aware of all your rights, but others may not be so sure so here is a basic run-down of what you can expect from your employer and who you can go to if you are not getting what you deserve.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

The big one for working parents, or parents-to-be, is Maternity and Paternity leave and can often be misinterpreted by new parents with other worries on their minds, the simple answer is that you are both entitled to leave and that leave is dependant on factors such as how long you have been employed by the company and your role in the child’s life, for example are you the biological father. Make sure you are fully aware of your time allowances and ensure that you give your employer as much notice as possible when you will be leaving and when you will be back.

Adoption Leave

If you are working and have been approved for adoption then you may be entitled to adoption leave when the child first comes to live with you. The times and allowances vary depending on where the child was born and the type of relationship you are in but there are many option available to you.

Flexible Working Arrangements

As a parent you have the right to ask for flexibility in your working hours to accommodate caring for your child, this may be to coincide with carers or partners or during nursery or school holidays. Your employer has to support you in your need to be there for your child as well as continue to support you in your working day but they do not necessarily have to agree to requests you make, in the event that they refuse to make changes for you they must be able to present a strong case for that refusal . The most important thing is to be open with your employer about what you need and make sure you give them as much notice as you can before making changes.

rights of working parents

Ante-Natal Classes

Your employer should give you time off to attend ante-natal classes and should pay you for that time assuming that you take a reasonable amount of time off. Again, keeping your boss informed all the way is they key to making it work.

Right to Work in a Safe Environment

This is a right that every employed person has but many pregnant women or new mothers don’t realise how it can affect them, as you will have much different needs than the average person may have. For example, if you are pregnant and working in an office then the amount of space you have to work in, the equipment you use and amount of work you are asked to do can all be taken into consideration. As a new mother, you may have to watch what cleaning chemicals you use and take extra pro cautions when using certain types of machinery or working with certain types of food.


As a working parent you will be entitled to certain state benefits, employer benefits or be suitable for schemes, it is important that you get all the information you can about these benefits as they may help you in the long run. A good employer will help you with these and have literature about what you can have, if you are a member of a union then they will certainly be able to help you find out what you are entitled to.

Dismissal or Discrimination because of pregnancy

It goes without saying that no employer can use your pregnancy as a way to manage you out of the business and in fact it is illegal for them to do so. In the event you are unable to perform your duties because of physical restrictions then they must find an alternative for you. If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination due to your pregnancy then you have the right to appeal and go to a tribunal.





About Steven Petter

About Steven Petter

Steve has three children, Connor, Harmony-Skye and Fletcher. He is a Martial Arts enthusiast as well as an avid reader of books about Philosophy, he began writing short stories and also writes music reviews.

Website: Steven Petter

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