Parents excluded from the parental leave right because their children were born before the implementation date are likely to win the entitlement – but not for another two years.
The TUC’s challenge to the way the Government implemented the European Directive has been referred on from the High Court to the European Court of Justice, which may take two years to make a judgement.
Announcing the decision last week Lord Bingham, the Lord Chief Justice, said the challenge was likely to “prevail”.
If it does, employers will have to grant unpaid leave of up to 13 weeks to all parents with children under five, not just those born after 15 December last year.
However, the entitlement will not be backdated, so parents with children aged three and four years old at the moment will miss out as their children will be too old by the time a decision is made.
The TUC called the High Court’s pronouncement a “moral victory”.
“Ministers should now extend parental leave to the nearly 3 million working parents who have missed out without the need for a lengthy European court case,” said TUC general secretary, John Monks.