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Unpaid parental leave for 16 / 17yr old

(120 Posts)
Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:27:20

I’ve recently been reminded about the 4 weeks per year unpaid parental leave entitlement for children up to 18.
I can afford to have the full 4 weeks per year (I’ve never taken it in the past) so DH thinks it would be a good thing for me to take it while is still can (DD is 17 in April).

I know I’d be entitled to take it but my manager will no doubt question why I want to take it and it won’t go down well at all.

I’d spread the 4 weeks throughout the year and apply well in time of the leave.

Would it be ridiculous to take it for a 17yr old? I know it’ll be seen as me just wanting extra time off so I want to be ready with my answers.

areyouafraidofthedark Sun 08-Dec-19 15:27:55

Why do you need the time off?

Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:32:01

I just fancy an extra 4 weeks off a year to be honest and I can afford the pay drop every few months.

Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:33:18

Do I have to give a reason? Can’t I just say I want to spend time with DD before she goes to Uni?

BingPot99 Sun 08-Dec-19 15:33:49

The time is meant for you to look after a child with long term illness /recovery from surgery / no other childcare options in summer holidays etc. Of course it won't go down well and don't expect to be granted any favours at work for a while if you ask for the time off for no other reason than you feel you are 'entitled' to it.

TheRightHonerable Sun 08-Dec-19 15:34:49

I don’t think that’s what it’s for. That’s like saying ‘I’ve got 10 days of sick leave before I get a warning - so I’m gonna take them’

I’m pretty sure parental leave is for unusual circumstances such as child illness/emergencies

wintertime6 Sun 08-Dec-19 15:35:00

If you're taking it as unpaid parental leave then it really has to be to care for your child. It might be that you're taking your child to see around universities or something like that at this age, but it has to be to do with the welfare of your child.

If you just want to take off unpaid leave for yourself then you could ask for unpaid holidays which anyone has the right to request.

VaggieMight Sun 08-Dec-19 15:35:26

I can't imagine it would be acceptable unless it's for medical reasons.

Letthemysterybe Sun 08-Dec-19 15:35:57

You can’t be serious?

Belle0610 Sun 08-Dec-19 15:37:12

Emergency time off for dependents (also unpaid) is for things like illness / unexpected childcare issues.

The government website advise that parental leave is-


Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child’s welfare, eg to:

spend more time with their children
look at new schools
settle children into new childcare arrangements
spend more time with family, such as visiting grandparents

Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:37:15

I’m deadly serious!

Blankiefan Sun 08-Dec-19 15:37:24

You don't need a reason for it. And you are literally entitled to take it - it's a statutory entitlement. You qualify for it and if you can afford to take it, do so. Your employer can't refuse it - they can postpone it if the dates don't suit but they need a solid reason and you must be allowed to take it

Go for it!

Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:37:44

Ah there you go then, I’ll be spending time with DD. Fab.

Blankiefan Sun 08-Dec-19 15:40:20

loutypips Sun 08-Dec-19 15:41:52

You have to take it off in a week at a time and give 21 days notice. It's also not 4 weeks a year- that's the max you can have in one year. It's 18 weeks total, from birth to age 18.

minipie Sun 08-Dec-19 15:43:06

I don’t think you need a reason other than spending time with DD but do at least request time in school holidays!

And yes your employer won’t be impressed - but doesn’t sound like you’re bothered by that. Are you ok with being first in line for redundancies etc? (I’m not being snarky, in my last job I would have been happy to be made redundant!)

Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:43:07

Thanks, I did look at that link so I thought I’d be entitled. I did just wonder about the ethics of it all but to be honest I’ve worked there over 25 years and seen some huge piss taking from colleagues lately so it’s how my turn 👍

Newhouse76 Sun 08-Dec-19 15:43:23

I think you are fine - I am doing the same with DD who is 15 and have approval from my employer take 4 weeks of unpaid parental leave each year till she is 18.

This year we are travelling for 4 weeks after her GCSEs and my manager says he wishes he had done the same when his daughter was younger!

Ticklovetock Sun 08-Dec-19 15:44:11

Yes I’ll take it in the holidays, I’ll make sure it’s taken over half terms etc.

Quartz2208 Sun 08-Dec-19 15:45:37

IS your DD on board with it though? are you actually going to do something useful with this time. You will need to link it to spend time with your DD

Blankiefan Sun 08-Dec-19 15:48:51

You should talk to colleagues about it too. Research suggests that up to three quarters of parents don't realise they are entitled to take this type of leave. I took some this year (DD is 6 and it massively helped with school hols and frankly made my year easier and more fun). Most people I told didn't know they could do this.

leghairdontcare Sun 08-Dec-19 15:49:54

I took 3 weeks parental leave when my son started school to settle him in and be there for pick ups. It was great. My manager had never heard of it but as pp says, you're entitled to it. Why not do two blocks of two weeks - maybe Easter hols and summer if thats convenient?

I'm sure your daughter will really appreciate you taking time out to focus on her at this age.

frasersmummy Sun 08-Dec-19 15:52:58

And this is exactly the kind of attitude that gets policies tightened up
Making it harder for others with genuine reasons to get time off in the future

Just because you can doesn't mean you should

rookiemere Sun 08-Dec-19 15:53:17

It's not a pisstake to take unpaid leave that you're entitled to. I've taken it a couple of times as school holidays so long and wanted to spend the time with DS. Next year I may take a week as we've got a few holidays planned. I'm surprised by some of the responses on here.

PaulGalico Sun 08-Dec-19 15:54:06

My child has had a number of medical appointments this year - at some distance from home. I have taken parental leave to take her to these appointments. I am amazed that people think it is okay to take this time to have a bit of extra holiday - very glad I am not one of your colleagues having to cover your job. Also my 17 year old really wouldn't appreciate us spending lots of extra time together.

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