I am the parent of a disabled child. What are my rights to parental leave?

All parents are entitled to take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave (maximum four weeks per year) to be used at any time up to the child’s 18th birthday. If your child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, you are allowed to take this leave over chunks of time lasting less than one week – for example, on odd days. For children without a disability, the leave must be taken in one-week blocks.

Some employers will offer a better entitlement than the legal minimum, and trade unions have negotiated many workplace agreements to provide for better leave arrangements than the statutory scheme, including paying for part or all of parental leave. Check your terms and conditions or consult with your union rep if you have one.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.