From 8 March 2013, qualifying employees will be entitled to 18 (instead of 13) weeks’ unpaid parental leave per child. The right to request flexible working has also been extended to agency workers returning to work following a period of parental leave.  Employers’ parental leave policies should be updated to reflect the change.

Currently leave must be taken before the child’s 5th birthday or a disabled child’s 18th birthday. The government plans to allow parental leave to be taken up until the child’s 18th birthday for all children, from 2015.