Parliament has approved the Parental Leave (EU Directive) Regulations 2013, which will come into force on 8 March 2013.
The Regulations implement Council Directive 2010/18/EU on the revised framework agreement on parental leave, which has increased the maximum parental leave entitlement from 13 to 18 weeks per child.
The existing eligibility requirements and the maximum annual limit of four weeks’ leave under the statutory scheme, remain unchanged by the Regulations. The leave must be taken before the child’s fifth birthday, unless the child is disabled in which case it can be taken up to the child’s 18th birthday. Parental leave is unpaid.
From 2015, all eligible parents will be able to take their parental leave entitlement up to the child’s 18th birthday, not only those with disabled children.
The Regulations also extend the right to request flexible working arrangements to agency workers who are returning to work following a period of parental leave.