Any new parent who has worked at least 13 weeks for their employer can take parental leave. This includes all new parents, not just the parent who gives birth. It also includes anyone who:
- is in what the law calls “a relationship of some permanence” with a parent of the child, and
- is going to treat the child as their own.
Each parent can take a full parental leave, either at the same time as another parent or at a different time.
Parents who give birth can take both pregnancy leave and parental leave.
When can I start my parental leave?
Usually, a parent who takes pregnancy leave must begin their parental leave as soon as the pregnancy leave ends.
But if your baby has not come into your care by then, you can wait until that happens before starting your parental leave.
For example, your baby might have to stay in the hospital after your pregnancy leave ends.
Other parents can start their parental leave any time within 78 weeks, which is about 18 months, after the date their child:
- is born, or
- first comes into their care.