Family-friendly working

Employees have a number of fundamental family-friendly rights in the workplace. These include the right to maternity leave, paternity leave, and adoption leave. Shared parental leave is available to parents of children due on or after 5 April 2015, and adopters where the child is placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015. Ordinary parental leave is a type of unpaid leave that can be taken until the child’s 18th birthday.

From 30 June 2015, the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ qualifying service. Prior to this date, it was available to parents of young children and carers. All employees are also entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off work “to take action which is necessary” in relation to the care of certain dependants.


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Employers should be aware that indirect sex discrimination claims have brought by men whose flexible working requests were rejected.

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