Parental leave rights extended

Thousands of working parents have gained the right to time off to spend with
their children after extended regulations on parental leave came into force
last week.

The move means parents with children who were aged under five on 15 December
1999 are entitled to 13 weeks off for each child.

Previously, only parents of children born on or after that date qualified
for the right to time off.

It is estimated that the move will add a further 336,000 parents to the 2.8
million who already benefit from the law.

Parents must give their employer at least 21 days’ notice to take time off,
but companies can postpone leave if they thinkit will affect business.

A DTI spokesman said: "The Government is committed to helping parents
achieve a better balance between work and home, without imposing undue burdens
on their employers."

Leave for parents of disabled children has been increased from 13 to 18
weeks.

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