Unpaid parental leave age limit rises

PARENTS can now take unpaid leave to care for a child aged up to 18 years old.

Previously, the right to take unpaid parental leave only applied to parents of children under five (or 18 if the child is disabled). However, as of April 5, 2015, the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. (Amendment) Regulations 2014 increased the age limit by extending the right to parents to take unpaid parental leave for any child under 18.

Employees who have completed one year’s service can ask for up to 18 weeks of unpaid leave which can start straight after birth/adoption or following a period of maternity leave.

It can be taken at any time up to the child’s 18th birthday. They must give employers at least 21 days’ notice and take the leave in one week blocks rather than occasional days.