Am I entitled to Parental Leave?

It is recognised that parents have a joint responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children and that work and parenthood can create conflicting pressures. Parental leave is therefore aimed at encouraging a culture of flexible working practice to assist staff to balance family and work commitments.

Currently all employees will be eligible to take parental leave if:

  • They have 12 months’ continuous service with one or more NHS employers;
  • They have a nominated caring responsibility for a child under age 18;
  • 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.

Part time staff are entitled to parental leave on a pro-rata basis based on the hours they work at the time of taking leave and not to exceed 18 weeks in total. (e.g. a member of staff working 28 hours a week would be entitled to 18 weeks at 28 hours).

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.

For further information on how to apply for parental leave, please contact medical staffing in your Placement Board.