Maternity and Parental Rights Solicitors York, Wetherby & Malton
Becoming a parent is one of the most life-changing and exciting experiences you will ever have, you do not want your bubble of happiness to be burst by an employer that is not providing the correct support or entitlements.
At Ware & Kay Solicitors, our team of Maternity and Parental Rights solicitors can answer your questions, help make sure you are receiving the support you are entitled to or assist you in a dispute with your employer, get in touch today. It pays to know your rights.
What are maternal and parental rights?
In the UK, statutory maternity and parental rights apply before and after birth and include maternity leave, parental leave and also paternity pay.
The law states that unfavourable or discriminatory treatment of pregnant women or those with children is unlawful. If you have been treated unfairly or in a manner that you believe to be discriminatory, you may be entitled to make a claim depending on the situation. Contact our team today to find out more.
Shared Parental leave
For many modern families, maternity leave is not the best option for them. Having parental rights allows for the possibility of shared parental leave, meaning that within the couple there are 50 weeks of leave, with 37 weeks of pay to be split how you wish, or there is the option for one parent to take all of the parental leave if this is what works best for your family.
Shared parental leave - are you eligible?
In order to be eligible for shared parental leave from your employer, there are criteria that must be met including:
- Worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks before the end of the 15th week before the due date, or in adoption the day the child is matched with you
- Remain employed with the same employer until at least the week before your leave begins
- Have parental responsibility over the child, you share the care of them with your partner or the child’s other parent/guardian
There are also rules regarding the split of parental pay. Our Employment Law solicitors can discuss with you what you are eligible for.
Maternity rights in employment
Maternity rights in employment typically begin during pregnancy and continue after the birth of your child. You are likely to be entitled to:
- Paid time off for ante-natal medical appointments that have been recommended by a medical professional.
- Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) - usually up to 52 weeks.
- Compulsory Leave - the 2 or 4 weeks following the birth in which the mother cannot work by law.
- Shared Parental Leave (SPL).
- Maternity pay - UK Statutory Maternity Pay allows 39 weeks of income in most cases.
- The mother may also be able to take up to 10 “keeping in touch” (KIT) days during the maternity leave, allowing them to return to work and settle back in. This has to be agreed on by both the employer and employee.
Returning to work following maternity leave
After returning from maternity leave, women are usually expected to come back to the same job and receive the same benefits they did before they left if they had been on maternity leave.
Whilst the Equality Act protects against pregnancy and maternity discrimination, this may not stop such employees from being made redundant. Women made redundant while on maternity leave have the right to be offered a suitable alternative role where available.
If you feel like you are not receiving the correct treatment or maternity rights or entitlements, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts.
Fathers are also entitled to rights when their partner is having a baby, this includes non-married partners of the mother who are not married. Paternity rights include the following:
- Paternity leave- the choice of 1 or 2 weeks.
- Shared Parental Leave (SPL).
- Paid time off for ante-natal medical appointments that have been recommended by a medical professional when the father is accompanying the pregnant woman to appointments.
- Paternity pay - £156.66 per week or 90% of the average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
If you feel you are not receiving the correct treatment or paternity rights and entitlements, our specialist team can advise you.
Adoption leave operates similarly to parental leave, with shared parental leave being an option for many couples going through the adoption process. When you adopt a child you or your partner are entitled to 52 weeks’ adoption leave, this can be split through shared leave.
If you are unsure if your rights to adoption leave and pay are being met by your employer, contact our experienced team today.
Advice for employers
Employers must seek legal advice early to avoid any breaches or claims made by the employee. Our specialised team can advise on various areas of employment law, including specific maternal, paternal, and other ‘family friendly’ rights.
Contact our Maternity and Paternal Rights Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton, North Yorkshire
Whether you are an employee enquiring about making a claim or an employer unsure of your responsibilities, our dedicated team are here to help. Contact 01904 716000 (York), 01937 583210 (Wetherby), 01653 692247 (Malton), or complete our online enquiry form.