Three Family Friendly Rights in the Spotlight for Father’s Day

As this Sunday is Father’s Day we thought we’d take a quick look at three family friendly rights that fathers in your organisation might use. This can help you be ready to manage different situations in your workplace.

1. Attending Ante-Natal Appointments

If your employee is the expectant father, the pregnant woman’s spouse, partner or civil partner they have the right to take unpaid time off during working hours to accompany the pregnant woman to a maximum of two ante-natal appointments. The maximum amount of time an employee can take for each appointment is 6 hours and 30 minutes.

  • Did you Know? There is no qualifying period of service required for employees to be able to exercise this right.

2. Paternity Leave

If your employee is the birth father of a child or is the partner of the child’s mother/ primary adopter your employee may be eligible to take paternity leave. That is either one or two weeks off work to care for the child or support the child’s mother / primary adopter.

To qualify for statutory paternity leave, an employee will need to have at least 26 weeks continuous employment with you ending with the 15th week before the baby is due, or the end of the week in which the child’s adopter is notified of being matched with the child.

Your employee will need to let you know of their intention to take paternity leave by the end of the 15th week before the baby is expected, unless this is not reasonably practicable. The rules in adoption situations are slightly different so please contact us if you need information on this.

In terms of pay, your employee may also qualify for statutory paternity pay if the earnings requirement is met.

  • Did you Know? Employees can start paternity leave on the day the child is born or a certain date or number of days after the birth, but it must be taken within 56 days of the date of the child’s birth.

3. Parental Leave

Parental leave is a period of unpaid leave an employee can take to care for their child. It can be exercised until a child’s 18th birthday.

The entitlement is to a maximum of 18 weeks parental leave per child, although employees are limited to taking no more than four weeks in a single year for each child. Unless they are caring for a disabled child, parental leave must be taken in blocks of whole weeks.

Employees need to have at least one years’ service to qualify for the right and will need to give a minimum of 21 days’ notice of the time off they wish to take.

  • Did you Know? Unusually for a family friendly right, you can postpone the leave if you can show that the operation of your business would be unduly disrupted if your employee took leave at the time they have requested to take it. However, postponing leave is not a step to be taken lightly and there are rules that need to be followed so you should seek advice on your situation if you are considering postponement.

Kingfisher’s Advice

It’s always important to check your contracts of employment and to consider any custom and practice in your organisation when it comes to family friendly rights. Whilst we have had a look at some of the key points in relation to the statutory schemes, you may offer employees better terms than they are entitled to under statute, particularly when it comes to pay.

If you have any questions regarding family friendly rights or any other employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.