Working and developing your career alongside fulfilling your responsibilities to your family can be a juggling act. Our professional and helpful team can help you to understand the variety of employment rights in place to help make the juggle a little easier for you.
Your employer is by law required to provide you with a range of policies and options which should enable you to both work and manage your family life. However, many employers are not clear on what those policies are or how they should support you, which can cause some friction in the workplace.
Here are a number of family friendly policies which our team can help you with:
As a pregnant female employee, you are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave (this is made up of 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks of Additional Maternity Leave), regardless of how long you have worked for your employer or how many hours or days you work for them.
Fathers, civil partners, partners and adoptive fathers are also able to access Paternity Leave. They need to have 26 weeks continuous service at the 15th week before the expected week of birth, or by the week that they are notified of being matched with a child, in the case of adoption.
If you are in the process of adopting a child, you may be entitled to Adoption Leave if you are matched with a child for adoption by an approved agency (private adoptions and special guardianships are not covered under Adoption Leave), you have notified the agency that you agree that the child should be placed with you, and also agreed a date of placement.
There are a variety of reasons why you would need or want to take unpaid Parental Leave from your role at work, including caring for your children during the school holidays or when they are unwell, spending more time with them or visiting and viewing new schools.
To access Parental Leave, you will need to meet a number of criteria including being employed by your employer for over a year, being named on your child’s birth or adoption certificate and that your child is aged under 18.
It goes without saying, but we can never plan for emergencies involving our dependants. As an employee, under law, you are provided with the right to a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to enable you to manage emergencies involving your dependants. You do not have the right to be able to take the time off as paid, however.
You are able to request this time off no matter how long you have been employed. You could request the time off to deal with an illness or injury to your dependent, due to childcare arrangements breaking down or because of an issue at your child’s school that means you need to attend.
To manage your work/life balance more successfully, you may be interested in exploring flexible working arrangements. These arrangements may mean you could work from home, work from a different location, or start or finish later.
You are legally able to ask your employer for flexible working, although they don't have to grant your request. However, they do need to consider your request seriously and demonstrate their thinking in their decision. Examples of the types of flexible working you can ask for include working less hours, working compressed hours or becoming part of a job share.
You may need some advice about whether you are able to access any of the family friendly policies above, or you may need some guidance about your eligibility for any other family friendly policy. You may also need some assistance in approaching your employer about making adjustments to your working situation.
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