PARENTAL LEAVE REGULATIONS
1. On the basis of the Bill as drafted, regulations
on parental leave would be required to include the following
provisions, which would apply in all cases unless the employee
had more generous contractual rights:
- All employees who have responsibility for caring
for a child and have [one year's]* service have the right to at
least three months parental leave.
- The leave must be taken before the child reaches
age * [or, in the case of adoption, within * years after
- During the leave the terms of the employee's
contract continue to apply, but there is no right to remuneration.
- At the end of parental leave the employee has
a right to return to his job or a suitable alternative.
(* The provisions in brackets are for the Secretary
of State to set, within limits set in the Parental Leave Directive).
2. Employers would remain free to offer more
generous rights. Any other details or arrangements could be set
by workforce or collective agreements, provided they complied
with the four basic requirements above.
3. Where there were no such collective or workforce
agreements, the regulations could provide default provisions on
which the employee and employer would be able to rely. They might
cover some or all of the following elements:
- definition of 'responsibility for a child;
- how the three months' leave is to be taken [e.g.:
three months in one continuous period; or one month a year for
three years following the birth; some other way; possibly including
a part time option];
- minimum notice requirements and if necessary
requirements for employers to provide records of leave to new
employers, and remedies for non-compliance;
- the employer's entitlement to postpone the leave
where he has objective reasons [the regulations could set out
what these might be; place limits on the length or number of postponements
- a definition of 'remuneration';
- the terms and conditions which will be required
to continue during parental leave will be [e.g. duties of mutual
trust, confidentiality etc] and what terms will apply on the employee's
- what happens if the employee is dismissed or
made redundant during leave;
- (possibly) exceptional circumstances in which
leave can be transferred from one parent to another.