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Help with childcare costs

Time off (parental leave) and flexible working

Parental leave

If you're a working parent, you can take up to 13 weeks parental leave for each child until their fifth birthday (parents of disabled children are eligible for more time).  Your employer doesn't have to pay you when you take this leave, but they might as part of your employment package. Find out more about parental leave on the GOV.UK website.

Flexible working

You have a right to request a flexible working pattern from your employer if you've got a child aged under six years or a disabled child under 18 years.  Your employer has to consider your request seriously.

To have the right to ask for flexible working, you must:

  • have worked for you employer for at least 26 weeks
  • be the child's mother, father, adopter, legal guardian or foster parent - or be the partner of one of these
  • have responsibility for the child's upbringing
  • be making the application so that you'll be able to care for the child

You'll need to fill in an application form when you apply for flexible working. You can only make one application a year

Page last updated: 15 September 2017


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