While it is common for female employees who have given birth to take parental leave, leave options for a spouse or partner are often unclear or misunderstood. Partner’s leave is a form of unpaid leave that lets a spouse or partner take time off work to care for a newborn or adopted child under six years of age.
To be eligible for Partner’s leave, an employee must work for the same employer for at least an average of 10 hours per week in the six or twelve months before the arrival of a newborn or transfer of an adopted child into permanent care.
Below are the following entitlements for partner’s leave:
The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 defines ‘spouse’ as a partner in a marriage or de facto relationship. A de facto relationship is any couple – whether it be man and a woman, man and a man, or woman and a woman:
To determine if two people living together are classified as a couple, the following factors are taken into consideration:
A spouse or partner may commence their Partner’s leave:
If an employee needs longer than one to two weeks of partner’s leave, they can put in a request for extended leave. To be eligible for extended leave, an employee must work for the same employer for at least 12 months before the expected date of delivery or adoption.
Employers should include a partner’s leave policy in their employment agreement. This policy should clarify the company policy in accordance with the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
A partner’s leave policy should include the following information:
Clearly outlining the company policy can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure employees feel supported.
For advice on how to manage Partner’s leave in the workplace, contact Employsure on 0800 675 700.