Maternity, paternity and parental leave: your rights
It's a simple truth that, for parents (and women in particular), balancing work and family life is complicated.
Some of it we just have to accept: angst over childcare; frantic mornings; cries of "Mummy, don't go to work!".
But some of it we don't. We shouldn't accept being sidelined at work; we shouldn't accept being restructured out. We shouldn't accept being stereotyped as mothers.
With this in mind, two barristers specialising in discrimination and parents' rights at work, Natasha Joffe and Lydia Seymour, have put together a series of factsheets on employment rights after maternity leave, covering such things as what kinds of leave and pay you're entitled to, how to seek flexible working arrangements, and your legal rights if you're treated badly because you're a parent. They've also looked at the Talk boards and put together some responses to FAQs on this topic.
Please have a look at our disclaimer before reading and bear in mind that the information provided is no substitute for specific advice on your individual case.
- Your maternity rights FAQs
Answers to the problems that Mumsnetters have raised about their legal rights during maternity leave.
- Breastfeeding after maternity leave
The law on your employment rights when breastfeeding can be a bit confusing so get informed here.
- Flexible working after maternity leave
If you have dependent children or other people for whom you have caring responsibilities, you have a right to request to work flexibly.
- KIT days
The general rule while on maternity leave is that if you do any work for your employer, you lose your right to maternity pay for that week.
- Maternity pay
Babies are expensive, so you need to make sure you are getting all the cash you are entitled to.
- Parental leave for mothers and fathers
If you need more than a day off here and there for emergencies and have young children (or an older disabled child), then it's parental leave you should be thinking about.
- Parents' rights at work: where to go for help and advice
If you would like information on a specific case, there are a number of places you can go to for help and advice, both free and paid-for.
- Paternity leave and leave for co-parents and civil partners
Despite the name, paternity leave is not just for fathers. It's for other kinds of co-parents too.
- Shared parental leave
New laws mean parents can share the amount of time they take off work after having a child.
- Pregnancy at work: risk assessments and suspensions
There are stringent laws in place around workplace risks to pregnant women and their babies.
- Your right to return to work after maternity leave
Your right to return to your job depends upon how much maternity leave you have taken.
- Statutory maternity leave - your rights
No matter how long you've worked for a company, every employee who has a baby has the right to take maternity leave.
- Time off for antenatal care
If you're pregnant and in work, you are entitled to paid time off for antenatal care that's been recommended by a doctor, midwife or health visitor.
- Time off for dependants
If there's an emergency, you might need to take time off. Find out the specifics of what you can and can't do here.
Any other areas you'd like to see covered? Email us and we'll ask Natasha and Lydia to add them in.
Our FAQs and factsheets are intended only to contain general information and preliminary guidance. They should not be used as a substitute for taking detailed advice specific to your situation. Our responses should not, therefore, be regarded as legal advice, and both we and Mumsnet disclaim any liability in relation to their use. We have endeavoured to provide accurate and up to date information, but no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy of the information contained.