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Maternity, paternity and adoption

Find legislation and guidance on employee's rights and employer's responsibilities relating to maternity, paternity and adoption, including discrimination against those being pregnant or on maternity leave.

Legal Alert

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

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The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Maternity and paternity

This chapter of the handbook looks at the maternity and paternity rights applying to employees including: maternity, paternity and adoption pay; maternity, paternity and adoption leave; shared parental leave and pay; time off for antenatal care. Contains sample policies and letters.

Working hours and holidays

This chapter looks at the Working Time Regulations 1998; annual holidays; parental leave; Sunday working; the employment of schoolchildren; and flexible working.

Maternity/paternity rights, Adoption leave and pay, flexible working for parents and carers

These sections of the chapter on employment law cover the rights of working parents including maternity and paternity leave and pay; shared parental leave and pay; adoption leave and pay, flexible working for carers and parents; time off for dependents; and the right to return to work after maternity leave.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Acas guidance

Advice, guidance and practical resources on a wide variety of recruitment topics for both employers and employees, produced by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Acas. Acas is the employment relations service for England, Scotland and Wales offering practical, independent and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives.


Parents and carers

Acas guidance on issues related to maternity and paternity regulations and the rights of adoptive parents.

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

November 2017

Acas key guide offering an insight into how pregnancy and maternity discrimination can occur in the workplace, the employer's obligations and how it can be dealt with.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

It'll cost you...

The article offers advice on legislation related to human resources (HR) compliance in Great Britain. Topics include dealing with discrimination law, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE) related to service provision, and flexible working regulations. Also noted are employment law related to religion, shared parental leave (SPL) regulations, and the need for written records of employee discipline and grievance procedures..

Most employment rights 'indispensable', says businesses. Survey finds majority want to avoid post-Brexit 'bonfire'

The article reports on the results of a survey to determine what laws employers feel are indispensable, despite Great Britain withdrawing from the European Union. It mentions unfair dismissal laws, minimum wage laws, as well as those laws regarding parental leave.

How can employers do more to support working fathers?

The article presents the views of employee benefit professionals Paula Cunnington, Jeremy Davies, Megan Jarvie on how employers can help support working fathers. Cunnington notes the benefits of shared parental pay, and the need to implement reforms in paternal leaves and flexible working hours for dads according to Davies. Moreover, Jarvie also noted the significance Young Dads Collective program which helps young fathers to cope up with parenthood.

Will shared parental leave ever work?

Article looks at legislation passed in 2015 allowing shared parental leave in the UK. Topics covered include possible reform due to low uptake due to the structure and employment-related barriers for fathers.

The parenting factor

The article examines how companies can use mentoring to improve the talent among its employees and those it wishes to recruit or retain. Particular attention is given to the challenges associated with employee returning from parental leave and the transition process for these employees. To ensure talent is productive, it suggests mentoring that addresses the specific needs of employees..

"Managers are scared of pregnancy. And that means we're losing talent".

Explores issues faced by women when taking maternity leave or transitioning back to the workplace and how BDO is rethinking its approach in order to retain female talent.

Does anyone understand shared parental leave?

Carly Chynoweth provides clarification on some of the complex eligibility rules for the new shared parental leave legislation in force from 5 April 2015.

Manager memo: communicating shared parental leave

An example letter for HR departments to use; explains the new shared parental leave rights for British employees.

Workplace law is out of step

European courts are divided over the rights of parents of surrogate babies to take paid leave.

Advice & Information

Working Families

The website of work-life balance organisation Working Families offers guidance for employees on pregnancy and maternity, paternity, shared parental leave, adoption, emergency, carers and parental leave

Guide to family friendly work

Trades Union Congress

The TUC provides access to a useful selection of links to TUC and external resources on flexible working, time off to care for sick children and dependents, and maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

Maternity and paternity rights

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Factsheets, webinars, Q and As, case law, and reports from the CIPD on maternity, paternity, adoption, parental leave and family friendly policies. Registration is required to view content.

Statutory Payments Manual


HMRC internal manual giving guidance on Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay.

Statutory leave and time off

HM Government

Collection of Government guidance on statutory leave and time off, including holiday entitlement, statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay, time off for jury service and other public duties.

Statutory pay


Collection of guidance for employees and additional detailed guidance for employers covering Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, and penalties, disagreements and compromise agreements.

Working families

Working Families

Working Families is a leading UK work-life balance organisation. Its website provides information and resources on issues of flexible and family friendly working arrangements for parents and carers as well as for employers. The employers' section includes factsheets for line managers, a model flexible working policy and further guidance on paternity/maternity leave and pay, shared parental leave and homeworking.

Articles and books in the Library collection

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