Unpaid parental leave increases while fit-note guidance is revised

RULES extending the right to unpaid parental leave came into force this month.

RULES extending the right to unpaid parental leave came into force this month.

From March 8, the right to unpaid parental leave increased from 13 weeks to 18 weeks for parents who have been employed for 12 months or more. This is in addition to any maternity, paternity or adoption leave they may qualify for.

The leave – which is now 18 weeks per parent per child – must be taken before the child’s fifth birthday or the fifth anniversary of their adoption placement. No more than four weeks leave can be taken per year and leave must be taken in one week blocks.

Other changes this month include a revision of ‘fit note’ guidance for GPs so the advice refers to fitness for work in general, not just a patient’s current job. And from April 6, 2013 the consultation period for making more than 100 people redundant will drop from 90 to 45 days and will include fixed-term employees.