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2 Employment - updated version available December '16

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1. Introduction

2. Do I need a contract of employment?

3. Do I have the right to work in the UK?

4. What is the least I should be paid?

5. How many hours can my employer make me work?

6. Does my employer have to recognise my trade union?

7. What if I've been dismissed unfairly?

8. Bringing a statutory claim for unfair dismissal

9. What if I've been made redundant?

10. Bringing a contractual claim for wrongful dismissal

11. What if I've been discriminated against?

12. What are my rights if I work part-time?

13. What are my rights if I'm having a baby?

14. Can I take leave as a new Father?

15. What are my rights if I'm adopting a child?

16. What other leave can I get after my child is born or adopted?

Parents can each take up to 13 weeks' parental leave to look after a child before their fifth birthday. If your child is disabled, you can take up to 18 weeks. To be able to take parental leave, you must have been employed continuously for at least a year. There are certain conditions relating to parental leave:

  • If you have had more than one child (twins, for example), you get a total of 13 weeks' leave for each child.
  • If a child is adopted, the time limit for taking parental leave is five years from the date of adoption or the child's 18th birthday, whichever is earlier.
  • The minimum period of parental leave you can take each time you ask for it is one week (unless your child is disabled). You can take a maximum of four weeks' leave in any 12-month period (though your employer may agree to more, if you need it). You will probably have to give your employer at least 21 days' notice that you want to take parental leave.
  • Unless you are taking parental leave straight after your child has been born or adopted, your employer can put off your parental leave for up to six months if they think their business will suffer if you take it when you have asked for it.
  • If you change job, any parental leave you have left over is carried over to the new employer. But you can take the remaining time only after you've been in your new job for a year.
  • Your employer doesn't have to pay you during parental leave (though this is now being challenged in the courts).
  • You can't legally be dismissed for a reason that relates to parental leave.

17. Can I change my working arrangements if I have children?

18. Can I take time off if I am someone's carer?

19. Further Help

20. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Ian Hunter, Head of the Employment Department, Bird & Bird, Solicitors.

The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: January 2019

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