Working fathers in the UK have certain rights that an employer is obliged to respect. They have the right to paternity leave, shared maternity leave with their partner and to be considered for flexible working hours.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides impartial and expert advice for employees and employers on workplace regulations and employment law. They can also advise when you should consult an employment solicitor. Here’s a brief outline of your paternal rights. Bear in mind you need to have been employed for a minimum of 26 weeks by the same employer to claim. Visit www.acas.org.uk for a more detailed guide.
Working fathers have the right to up to 2 weeks of standard paternity leave and to claim Statutory Parental Leave. They need to inform their employer and they may not commence the leave until after the baby is born. They have up to 56 weeks after the birth to claim their leave.
From 2015, fathers can also share up to 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks pay (ordinary maternity leave) with their partner.
Both parents have the right to ask for flexible hours including:
- Part time
- School hours
- Home working
- Job Sharing
Your employer is not legally bound to agree, but they must have a valid business motive to refuse. You have the right to ask for flexible hours once a year. You must provide a written request that demonstrates that your flexible hours will benefit, not hinder, your employer’s business.
Strict timelines and procedures must be followed by both you and your employer. If your employer refuses your request, you may only appeal if they have not followed correct procedure.