Do You Know Your Rights As A Working Parent?

I remember heading back to work after maternity leave the first time around and not knowing what my rights were as a working parent. This time when I head back in 2019 I will be more clued up.

The end of maternity or paternity leave is a daunting enough time without the stress and uncertainty of worrying about your entitlements.

Do you know your rights as a working parent?

Working with Babythingz, a leading supplier of cosytoes and footmuffs, we are here to map out your rights as a parent heading back to the workplace. To make this transitional time as easy as possible.

Maternity Leave

A woman can be on maternity leave for 52 weeks in total. That’s 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks of additional leave. If the mother decides to return to work early she must give her employer 8 weeks notice and have it agreed before the new date. If she decides to take the full maternity leave entitlement there is no need to send notice as long as it was the original date decided.

Going Back To Your Job

When you head back to work after maternity leave you are entitled to return to the same job you left. If it’s not suitable for whatever reason your employer must find an alternative role. If another role cannot be found you may be entitled to redundancy.


While you are on maternity leave you accrue holiday leave. You can also take holiday before and after your maternity leave to extend your time off.


If a parent wishes to breastfeed their child at work, they have to let their employer know in writing. It’s also best to give plenty of notice so that the employer has time to make arrangements, which could include:

  • Carrying out risk assessments.
  • Dealing with potential risks to the parent and child.
  • Providing suitable facilities for breastfeeding.

Your employer is under no legal requirement to arrange a breastfeeding area for you. However they cannot stop you from coming back.

Breastfeeding at work

Flexible working

It’s worth looking into flexible working hours when you go back to help ease childcare pressures. Here are the types of flexible working available:

  • Job share: two people split the hours between one role.
  • Work remotely: carrying out your role from home.
  • Flexitime: choosing when you start and end your shift while adhering to core hours.
  • Part-time
  • Compressed hours: working full-time hours over fewer days.
  • Staggered hours: having a different start, break and finish time to colleagues.

Parental Leave

Back in April 2015 parents gained more rights and flexibility regarding looking after their children after they went back to work. It’s a legal way for parents to take time out of work to look after their children. It can include when you need to spend more time with the kids, find new schools, visit family, and ease youngsters into new childcare environments.

GOV.UK states that if an employee has completed one year’s service at a place of work, they are entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave for every child (biological or adopted). It must be taken before the child turns five years old. 

The rules around this scheme are:

  • Each parent is limited to four weeks for each child per year.
  • Parental leave must be taken in whole weeks, not odd days.
  • This type of unpaid leave applies to the child and not the parent’s job, so it can’t be carried over once used.
  • Parents must give 21 days’ notice prior to the start of the unpaid leave.


If you’re ever unsure about your rights as a working parent, check online government sites to get a clearer idea.


Pin For Later:

Your Rights As A Working Parent


Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have found this post useful in some way.

You can check out my other parenting posts here.

*This is a collaborative post.

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