Toggle high contrast

For many working people, family comes before everything else. And in recent years, the law has become more sensitive to the needs of parents and carers. But juggling work and family is still a struggle for working mums and dads.

If you have caring responsibilities – whether for children, elderly or disabled relatives, or other dependents – you have legal rights designed to help you balance the different parts of your life.

Most mums and dads have a statutory right to take paid time off around their baby’s birth. And many employers will have their own maternity and paternity leave policies that go beyond the legal minimum.

In addition, all employees have the right to request flexible working, once they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks. This  can help parents and other carers to manage their different responsibilities.

And you should never be discriminated against or harassed because of pregnancy or maternity, or because you care for a disabled person.

You also have specific rights if you work part-time, say while your children are school-age. Anyone who works less than full-time hours is a part-time worker, so this includes, for example, anyone on a zero hours contract.

This section will offer guidance on your rights, and on how you can make your working life more family-friendly.

But it shouldn’t be taken as legal or financial advice. The law in this area is complex and every case is different. Before taking any action, seek individual advice from your union or a qualified adviser.

What does 'flexible working' mean?
Flexible working is any type of work arrangement that gives flexibility in how long, where and when people work. It includes flexi-time, remote and home working, mutually agreed-predictable hours and compressed hours.
Under what circumstances can my employer refuse my request for flexible working?
Your employer may only turn down a request for flexible working on one or more of a number of ‘business’ grounds. For example, the burden of additional costs, a detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand or inability to reorganise work among existing staff,
Enable Two-Factor Authentication

To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).

Setup now