Working parents now receive five weeks’ parent’s leave

New or adoptive parents can now take more time off work to look after their child. Read on to learn more.

First published on Friday, Apr 30, 2021

Last updated on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021

3 min read

Last year’s Budget included details of a three-week extension to parent’s leave.

This change recently came into effect from 1st April 2021 and below we take a closer look at this family-friendly entitlement.

What’s changed?

From April this year, the following changes have been made to parent’s leave and adoptive leave:

  • Parent’s leave has been extended to five weeks for each parent, which is to be taken in the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child.
  • Couples who adopt can choose which parent may take the adoptive leave.
  • A parent who is not taking adoptive leave can now take paternity leave.

The key change that will impact a large number of business owners is the widening of the parent’s leave entitlement.

Employees with children who were born on or after 1st November 2019 are now entitled to five weeks’ parent’s leave to be taken any time within the first two years of a child’s birth or adoption.

Parent’s leave is also non-transferable between parents. This rule is in place to encourage both parents to take leave from work to spend time with their young child.

What does this mean for employers?

Managing a range of different paid family-friendly leave entitlements is an increasing challenge for employers. There are now four key leave entitlements that impact workforce planning. These are:

  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Adoptive leave
  • Parent’s leave

Each entitlement has different qualification criteria and you need to stay on top of each one to avoid employee relations issues.

There are also unpaid family leave entitlements to consider. Unpaid parental leave has also recently been extended to twenty-six weeks in duration and is now available to employees with children aged up to twelve years of age.

The non-transferable nature of parent’s leave should also translate into both mothers and fathers taking up to five weeks’ leave each during the first two years after a child’s birth.

To communicate these new changes to your staff, it’s worth putting together a workplace policy to help keep both you and your employees on track when dealing with common leave entitlements.

Is there a simpler way to manage leave?

BrightHR’s absence management software makes it easy for you to keep track of family leave entitlements.

You can use it to keep a secure record of who’s on maternity, paternity, adoptive or parent’s leave. BrightHR even flags any absence conflicts with you when you’re creating rotas—so you never schedule an absent employee on to a shift.

Plus, with 24/7 access to your team’s absence records, you always know who’s off and when. To see BrightHR’s absence management software in action, book your free demo today.

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