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parental leave

(11 Posts)
Itscurtainsforyou Sun 10-Jul-16 07:00:39

I'm on maternity leave this year, but wondering about how we're going to manage childcare over the summer holidays (& rest of the year!) next year and beyond.

I've come across "parental leave" which is 18 weeks unpaid leave, per child, until they reach 18 years old. I'm wondering about taking 2-3 weeks of parental leave (I have 2 children) in the summer holidays each year.

Has anyone else done this? Any obvious problems I should be aware of?


ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 10-Jul-16 07:09:11

I have taken Parental Leave for 2 weeks this year and will do it again for 2 weeks next year as it's cheaper for me to take w weeks unpaid than pay for 2 weeks childcare but if you earn more than you would pay out you would obviously lose money. Your employer can't refuse but can postpone so you might not get the exact days you want. As the employer can't refuse your request you will get the leave but in my experience sometimes it is given very begrudgingly I work in a huge company with regular changes of management so it doesn't cause a problem but I imagine if you worked for a small family company it might make for an uncomfortable working environment.

rubyslippers Sun 10-Jul-16 07:10:00

What are you childcare plans for non school holiday time?

the biggest pitfall surely is that it's unpaid?

NattyTile Sun 10-Jul-16 07:19:06

If you use it all to cover holidays, it won't be available for emergencies - you can plan for out of school care, but you can't plan for broken bones or lengthy hospital stays.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 10-Jul-16 07:34:58

Parental Leave is not for emergencies as it has to be requested 28 days or more in advance. Time of for Dependants is for emergencies.

Itscurtainsforyou Sun 10-Jul-16 07:44:17

Thanks for the replies.

I will have one child at school and another in term-time-only nursery. We'd use before/after school clubs 3 days a week for the older one during term time.

I'm lucky that my other half works in education, but some of his holidays don't match up (different councils) - and he has to work the last 3 weeks of the summer holidays (enrolment etc). I would also like us to spend some time together as a family if possible.

It sounds like as long as I can get work to agree to the dates it might be a goer. I'll have to budget properly to see if we can afford it.

megletthesecond Sun 10-Jul-16 07:47:05

I started using parental leave once mine were at school. I have to plan in advance (I've already mentioned to my boss I'll take Oct and Feb half terms as parental leave) and it's unpaid but less stress and just as damaging to the bank account as a holiday club.

I keep some annual leave for emergencies. And have also used unpaid dependents leave for an a&e dash following an incident at school.

Ticketybootoo Sat 30-Jul-16 20:49:39

Have done this but was thinking it only lasted until child was 14 unless they have a disability and then its 18 but will check that. I have 2 girls 13 and 8 and may not have survived in the workplace unless I had taken it for school holidays - girls don't like holiday clubs and in London they are fairly expensive so parental leave a good choice. However it hasn't made me the most popular at work and no- one covers my work when I am on leave so its a bit stressful when I get back ! DH works abroad a fair bit so overall this has been a useful thing for me

Darwinisafish Sat 30-Jul-16 21:02:41

I do this, I thought it was only until they are 8 though, not 18, 16 if the child has a disability. Used to be 14 weeks .

It's handy cos then you can keep annual leave for random days , doctors apps, nativity plays etc.

dementedpixie Sat 30-Jul-16 21:08:05

It is 18 weeks.and up to age 18:

Sara107 Fri 05-Aug-16 12:24:08

It is available up to age 18 (rules changed last year), for each parent and for each child - if you have two children you and your partner can both have 18 weeks for each child. But you can take a maximum of 4 weeks per year. You have to request 21 days in advance and your employer can refuse the dates you ask for and give you any other dates within a six month ( I think) window. Not great if you need to cover holidays! You have to take the leave in blocks of a full week - so don't use it to cover a trip to the dentist or something. Best to have an informal chat with your employer about options for covering school holidays - and discuss how they will react to parental leave requests or what other options you could have. I take parental leave from time to time, but this summer am taking company unpaid leave. One of the few useful things about school holidays is that you know exactly when they are going to happen - your employer is perhaps more likely to be agreeable to extended leave during the holidays if you can give plenty of notice - this was part of my justification for getting more flexible hours, that my line manager would know a year in advance when I needed to be away so all my work could be planned around it. I use a combination of unpaid leave (company or parental), childminder, holiday clubs, out of school clubs and annual leave to cover the holidays. For me, advance planning takes most of the stress out of it, I will have a 'draft plan' for the year in September and as each term starts, the arrangements for the next holiday are firmed up.

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