Family Friendly Rights

Many employers find it useful to have policies in place that help explain the procedures to be followed when dealing with family friendly rights.  Some of the family friendly rights in place are:

Maternity Leave & Pay (similar for adoption) – this is available to all pregnant employees. They are entitled to 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave (OML) and 26 weeks’ additional maternity leave (AML) (52 weeks in total). There are notification rules. Their pay, benefits and right to return to work differ after OML and AML. You can find more information on SMP here

Paternity Leave & Pay – eligible employees are entitled to take either one week or two consecutive weeks’ ordinary paternity leave (OPL) within 56 days of a child’s birth or placement for adoption.

Shared Parental Leave & Pay – this allows parents (and adoptive parents) to share the maternity leave and pay (or primary adopter’s leave and pay). Eligibility and procedural requirements can make this complicated. We have provided you with a useful resource below.

Flexible Working – all employees with over 26 weeks ‘continuous service can apply for this following a set procedure. It usually involves requests for changes to the employee’s hours of work, times of work or location of work. The most common being part-time working, flexi-time, home-working and job sharing. Employers can refuse a request on eight prescribed grounds, including the burden of costs and the detrimental impact it might have on quality, performance or meeting customer demands.

Parental Leave –rarely used due to it being unpaid. This leave is available for up to 18 weeks for those who have or expect to have parental responsibility for a child (up to 18).

Time Off For Dependants – an often misunderstood right. A reasonable amount of unpaid time off to take action where something unexpectedly arises with their dependants. This includes a spouse, child or parent, or person living in the same household (but not employee, tenant or lodger). The aim is to given them time to put arrangements into place. It is not intended, for example, to provide ongoing time off for personal care of a sick dependant, at some point parental leave would be the appropriate choice.

What next? How can we help you?

We can review, update or draft any policies or procedures you might need. If you have questions or need guidance through any of the processes, we can help .

You may also find the following ACAS resources helpful:

Flexible working : The ACAS Code and ACAS Guide

Shared parental leave : The ACAS Guide

To provide some useful information, whilst online, we have employment law checklists available. You can also sign up for regular updates.

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If you are an employee in the Guildford, Godalming & surrounding area, looking for guidance around these rights, your employment solicitor can provide you with advice.