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Further guidance on parental leave

What?
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recognise that all working parents have to maintain a healthy balance between their professional and personal responsibilities and that sometimes this includes taking some extra time off work to spend quality time with their children.

Parental Leave is designed to support them do this in a flexible way and is only available for that purpose.

It enables eligible employees request up to 18 weeks of leave per child: four weeks paid and then 14 weeks unpaid. Please note that the paid leave must be taken before the child’s 14th birthday or it is lost. The unpaid element can be taken up to the child’s 18th birthday.

NB. A week of parental leave equals the employee’s contracted hours in the week in which they wish to take it. Please see guidance on Record Keeping below for more information.

Who?
The eligibility criteria are 12 months of qualifying service (continuous service with one or more NHS employers) and parental responsibility for a child (aged under 14 for paid leave and under 18 for unpaid).

Please note that parental responsibility is a specific legal status, defined within the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, and in general only applies to the birth or adoptive parent/s. It can sometimes be granted to other guardians by the courts if necessary in the best interests of the child however it would not automatically apply other people involves in the child's life, such as step-parents or grandparents, even if they live in the same household.

How?
Applications should be submitted directly to the relevant line manager with no less than three weeks’ notice and first time applications must be accompanied by a copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption documentation.

When?
In exceptional circumstances, line managers may need to postpone parental leave if the needs of the service prevent them from granting some or all or the employee’s first choice of dates. Postponement should only take place after a discussion with the employee, with valid objective operational reasons provided, and the line manager is responsible for ensuring the employee can take the leave within six months of when they had requested to take it unless the employee chooses to withdraw the request instead.

Record keeping
In order for staff to be paid correctly, it is crucial that line managers ensure that SSTS is updated to accurately reflect any parental leave being taken (or inform Payroll directly where SSTS is not available).

Line Managers should also keep a record of all Parental Leave that has been authorised and transfer that information to any subsequent manager if the employee moves to a new role within NHS GGC.

NB. All parental leave should be recorded in (fractions of) weeks rather than days/ shifts.

This can be calculated by dividing the number of hours of parental leave being taken by the number of hours the employee is contracted to work in the week in which it is taken. For example, an employee who currently works full-time (37.5 hours) and an employee who currently works part-time (18.75 hours), both take 18.75 hours away from work on parental leave: the full-time employee has used 0.5 weeks of their parental leave entitlement (18.75 divided by 37.5) whereas the part-time employee has used one whole week (18.75 divided by 18.75).

It is also advisable for staff to keep their own record of their parental leave uptake, how much they have used and when, as they may already do in relation to annual leave as it is their responsibility to notify any new managers of their parental leave record.

Any Questions?

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit.