Parental leave

Parental Leave is in addition to flexible working, maternity leave, paternity leave and special leave. All employees will be eligible to take parental leave if:

  1. They have 12 months’ continuous service with one or more NHS employers;
  2. They have a nominated caring responsibility for a child under age 18;
  3. They notify their employer in writing three weeks (21 days) in advance of the intended leave (or if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter):
    • Of their intention to take parental leave;
    • Of the date they wish to commence and return from parental leave;
    • Provide evidence of entitlement

The amount of parental leave entitlement is 18 weeks for each child under the age of 18.

The 18-week entitlement is per each child, not per employment. In other words, the balance of the entitlement is not restored to 18 weeks if an individual changes employer. For example, if an employee uses 10 weeks of their entitlement with one employer, and then changes employer, they can only use up to eight weeks with their new employer, assuming that they are eligible. Eligibility for parental leave transfers between employers on a cumulative basis.

Both mothers and fathers can take parental leave.

*Please note that LTFT Trainees will be entitled to parental leave on a pro-rata basis depending on the hours that they work.

The Parental Leave Policy can be found here.

Employees who meet the eligibility requirements will be entitled to a total of 18 weeks parental leave, for each child. Four weeks of the 18-week entitlement will be paid leave. The paid leave must be taken before the relevant child’s 14th birthday (or 18th birthday in the case of adoptive parents or parents of a child with a disability). Any parental leave which is taken after the 14th birthday (but before the 18th birthday) of the relevant child will be unpaid.

Should you wish to apply for parental leave, you should firstly apply to your educational supervisor/line manager in writing at least 21 days before you wish to comment parental leave using the parental leave application form.

When submitting the application, you should also provide appropriate documentation e.g. the original birth certificate for whom you are applying for parental leave, adoption papers or in the case of a disabled child, the award of disability living allowance for the child. If you are applying for parental leave around the time of the birth of your child, you will be required to produce a copy of the MAT B1 certificate.

All applications will be considered and discussed between you and your supervisor to ensure the request meets the needs of the service. Please remember to contact the Deanery team to discuss any potential training implications.

If you are a doctor in training in a practice placement, your form should be forwarded to the NES Trainee Services Team at If you are a doctor in training in a hospital placement, your form should be forwarded to your placement board HR team. 

If a trainee has requested unpaid parental leave, a notification of change form should be processed by the placement board through Turas People for payroll. The placement board should ensure parental leave is recorded through SSTS or a leave form if they are not using SSTS (this can be found here).