Can my employer postpone my parental leave?

If an employer considers that your absence would unduly disrupt the business, they can postpone your parental leave for up to six months after the date when you originally wanted to start your leave.

Your employer should discuss this with you and confirm the postponement in writing no later than seven days after you have given them your notice of wanting to take leave. The employer’s notice should say why they are postponing the leave and set out new dates for it.

Your employer cannot postpone your leave entitlement a second time, even if they feel that their reasons for refusing the leave in the first instance have not changed.

If the postponement of parental leave by the employer means that the leave starts after the child’s 18th birthday, you are still entitled to take it. If this situation occurs, you should seek advice immediately from your union rep or an advice agency.

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.