Parents, parents-to-be and carers know your rights

Our new resource for parents, contains key information about members’ legal and contractual rights, and checklists for trade union support

Know your rights

Antenatal appointments

A pregnant employee is entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments. The right applies to employees from day one of their employment. Did you know that as well as GP and midwife appointments, it can include classes such as relaxation, pregnancy yoga and parenting so long as they are recommended by a registered midwife or medical practitioner? 

Maternity leave and holiday days

All your contractual terms and conditions stay the same during your statutory maternity leave, except for pay. Annual leave will continue to accrue during your leave and you will need to agree with your employer when you can take it. They may allow you to add it on to the end of your maternity leave. 

Adoption appointments

Only one partner in an adopting couple is entitled to paid time off to attend up to five adoption appointments. This applies to employees from day one and agency workers with 12 weeks’ service in the same job. In couples jointly approved for adoption, the partner of someone taking paid adoption leave can take unpaid time off to attend up to two adoption appointments.

Emergency leave

Employees are entitled to take unpaid time off work in certain emergency situations, such as providing assistance when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted. If you take emergency leave you must tell your employer as soon as reasonably practicable the reason for your absence and how long you expect to be absent.

Occupational leave and pay

If you work in the NHS or are covered by Agenda for Change (AfC), you may be entitled to leave and pay arrangements that are better than the minimum legal rights.  Eligibility depends on the length of your employment, and there are different provisions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so check the AfC handbook and your employer’s own policies. If you work outside the NHS your employer may also have its own policies that are better than the statutory minimum so check your contract, collective agreement, staff handbook or employer policy. 

Power in a union

Many employees only enjoy terms for parents, parents-to-be and carers that are better than the legal minimum entitlements because their union have negotiated an agreement with their employer with better terms. Talk to your CSP rep if your employer is not meeting its contractual or legal obligations. Our resource contains checklist guidance to make sure our union reps are best able to support parents, parents-to-be and carers at work. 

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