New Maternity, Paternity And Parental Leave Entitlements

Author:Ms Katarzyna Dulewicz
Profession:CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

On 1 January 2009, standard maternity leave entitlement

increased from 18 to 20 weeks, with longer for multiple births.

The new entitlement applies to all employees on maternity leave

at 1 January 2009, as well as those whose maternity leave starts

after that date.

Maternity leave now depends on how many children are born at the

same time, not on whether it is the first or subsequent childbirth.

Maternity leave is 31 weeks for twins, 33 weeks for triplets, 35

weeks for quadruplets and 37 weeks for quintuplets.

From 2010, employees will be able to request 2 weeks'

additional leave to follow directly on from their standard

maternity leave. This will increase to 4 weeks in 2012 and 6 weeks

in 2014.

The additional leave period for multiple births will be 3 weeks

in 2010, 6 weeks in 2012 and 8 weeks in 2014.

The additional leave offers flexibility in that:

it can be combined with part-time work on request by the


it can be taken by fathers if the mother decides to return to


From 2010, fathers will also be entitled to one week's

paternity leave which can be taken whether or not the mother is on

maternity leave at the time.

From 1 January 2009, employees returning to work after maternity

leave are also entitled to request unpaid parental leave in order

to work part time, and receive special protection against

involuntary termination for up to 12 months.


To continue reading