2. Entitlement

Parental leave is unpaid. You’re entitled to 18 weeks’ leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday.

The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise).

You must take parental leave as whole weeks (eg 1 week or 2 weeks) rather than individual days, unless your employer agrees otherwise or if your child is disabled. You don’t have to take all the leave at once.

A ‘week’ equals the length of time an employee normally works over 7 days.

If an employee works 3 days a week, one ‘week’ of parental leave equals 3 days. If an employee works irregular weeks the number of days in a ‘week’ is the total number of days they work a year divided by 52.

Carrying leave over from a previous job

Parental leave applies to each child not to an individual’s job.

An employee is entitled to 18 weeks. They’ve used 10 with a previous employer. They can use up to 8 weeks with their new employer if they’re eligible.