Maternity, paternity and adoption leave and flexible working policies

A work-life balance is key to an employee’s happiness and can improve staff satisfaction and retention rates, but on the flip side, can cause business headaches — especially in small teams. Leave and flexible working can be a legal nightmare if not dealt with in the appropriate manner.

Maternity, Paternity & Adoption Leave

New parents (including foster and adoption parents) are entitled to a certain amount of paid leave providing they meet the eligibility requirements for statutory leave and pay. Some parents may also take advantage of Shared Parental Leave which may mean that your employee takes time off in blocks rather than all at once – this would require co-ordination from your team to ensure the relevant responsibilities are taken care of in the time that the parent is off.

Maternity, paternity and adoption leave also includes the right to take time off prior to the child arriving to attend hospital appointments and adoption meetings – again you will need to keep this in mind when it comes to ensuring the appropriate measures are taken to cover their workload.

Some companies offer more than the statutory leave depending on their circumstances and can occasionally amend their policy which can lead to disgruntled employees in stressful financial situations. It is important that your maternity, paternity and adoption leave policies provide adequate support to your employees while ensuring the needs of the business can be met.

Flexible working policy

We can also support you through conversations with that employee when they are looking for something different to a 9-5 schedule – as employees are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of flexible working when it comes to childcare, travel costs and other commitments.

These conversation might seem scary and high risk, but when done in the right way, they can be open, honest and completely fair to both parties allowing you to retain the best people on your team who are happy, satisfied and most likely more committed to an employer who has looked after them.

We can ensure your policies and procedures around parental leave and flexible working in the first instance are correct. We can help lead you though difficult conversations to balance your business needs with those of your employee.

However, this does not mean you are just agreeing to all the demands placed on you by your employees. As we will understand your business, we will understand how the change to working hours or days will impact your business. We can help you work through different ways to support your employees without compromising your commercial objectives.


Does maternity leave have full pay?

Statutory maternity pay entitles employees to 90% of their full pay for the first 6 weeks. For the following 33 weeks statutory maternity pay is £151.97/week or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). Some company may offer full pay for some or all of the maternity leave period, however this is not mandatory and is offered at the employer’s discretion.

How long is the average maternity leave?

Employees receive statutory maternity pay for 39 weeks of leave but they may take up to 52 weeks of leave if they wish. Please note: employees must take 2-4 weeks of maternity leave after the baby is born.

At what week do you go on maternity leave?

Employees can choose to go on maternity from 11 weeks before the due date however they are free to work up until the day of the birth. Maternity leave will automatically start when the baby is born or if the employee has to take time off for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the birth. Typically, employees tend to start maternity leave in the 6 weeks before the due date.

How long is paternity leave?

Employees can take up to 2 consecutive weeks of statutory paternity leave however they must take it after the birth, not before. Some companies may choose to offer employees a longer period of paternity leave at the employer’s discretion.

Call us today 0777 374 7396