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Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Parental Leave Policies

(Including Flexible Working Requests)


Working parents have legal rights in the workplace..

maternity paternity policy

Working parents have the following legal rights at work:

  • paid and unpaid maternity leave
  • paid and unpaid paternity leave
  • paid and unpaid adoption leave
  • to request flexible working hours
  •  to share maternity / adoption leave and pay
  • unpaid parental leave of up to 4 weeks per year

To comply with current legislation it is advisable to ensure your business has policies on these rights which fully comply with current UK employment law. Below we supply free policy templates which meet all these requirements and which you can download and adapt for your business.

Free Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Shared
Parental Leave Policy and Document Downloads

From 1st December 2014 there are significant changes to parents rights to share maternity / adoption leave and pay. These changes relate to any baby born or child adopted after 5th April 2015. Under this new system of flexible parental leave, parents will be able to choose how they share care of their child in the first year after birth. So any employee (or their partner) who becomes pregnant now will be covered by these new regulations.

All employers will be expected to develop policies which reflect these important changes. To assist you with implementing the changes we have developed 2 new policies set out below. As always these are free for you to download and adapt for your organisation.

**NEW** Maternity, Paternity and Shared Parental Leave Policy
This is a fully integrated policy which cover all the statutory entitlements to maternity, adoption, paternity and (shared / unpaid) parental leave and pay. This is a good option for businesses which don't have any policies currently in place.


**NEW** Shared Parental Leave Policy
This policy relates to the statutory requirements around shared parental leave and pay and is suitable if you already have policies on maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave.

The policies below cover each individual element of parental entitlements. You can adopt these policies individually or as a suite of policies with the Shared Parental Leave Policy above.

Maternity Leave Policy
Covers all statutory maternity leave and pay arrangements for pregnant employees.

Paternity Policy
Outlines the current statutory entitlements of employees whose wife, civil partner or partner gives birth to a child. Paternity leave is also available to an adoptive parent where a child is matched or newly placed with them for adoption. This policy gives details of the arrangements for paternity leave and pay. Some of the arrangements in this policy for Additional Paternity Leave will be directly superceded by the Shared Parental Leave arrangements - see policy above.

Adoption Policy
This policy sets out the statutory rights and responsibilities of employees who are planning to adopt a child and gives details of the arrangements for adoption leave and pay.

Parental Leave Policy
Outlines an employees right to 18 weeks unpaid leave for the purpose of caring for a child. This is in addition to the Shared Parental Leave rights.

Procedure for Making a Flexible Working Request
From 30th June 2014, any member of staff can request flexible working. Here is a template which you can use with mimimal customisation for your business. It fully conforms to the new ACAS guidelines.

Useful Links

**New**Ante-natal rights for fathers

From 1st October 2014, there are new antenatal rights for fathers and partners to take time off work to accompany a pregnant woman to see a midwife or obstetrician.The right is to time off on up to two occasions for a maximum of 6.5 hours each, and this is available without your employee having to have any qualifying service - so is available from day one of their employment. Further information from BIS.

ACAS on Shared Parental Leave
Comprehensive guidance and templates from ACAS with regard to shared parental leave.

Maternity and Paternity Online Calculator

If you need to calculate statutory maternity, adoption or paternity leave or pay, there is an online calculator here provided by the Government website