Family Friendly

Everything you need to know about Family Friendly rights

There are many employment rights that come under the banner of 'family friendly'. These are generally rights associated with time off for matters relating to dependents (children or other dependents) or where an employee may be caring for someone or related to flexible working.
Family Friendly rights are set out in legislation. In this section we give a step by step guide to each of the 'family friendly' rights.

There are also policy documents available on each of these, and many have an 'application' process. All these documents (policies and application forms) are available, together with template letters for employees. 

You should also maintain communication with any employees who are off work for family friendly related reasons. This would include keeping them informed of any significant changes in the business, advising them of vacancies or other matters. 

Please also see (this ensures ongoing communication to all employees). 

Frequently asked questions

In general, it's always a good idea to keep in touch with your employees on maternity leave and encourage them to stay in contact with you. You should keep them informed of issues which may affect them. For example, you should keep them informed of any relevant promotion opportunities or job vacancies that arise during their maternity leave. It can also help you both to prepare for your employee's return to work. Your conversations should be regular but not excessive or intrusive - it's a good idea to agree scheduled catch-ups with your employee before she goes on leave. Your employees on maternity (or adoptive) leave can work for up to 10 days without any effect on their statutory maternity pay (SMP). These are known as Keeping in Touch days (KIT days) and can be used for training, attending team meetings/away days, conferences or other activities to help them keep in touch with the workplace. Neither you nor your employee can demand that she takes any KIT days, so you need to work this out together before she goes on leave. An employee that takes KIT days is entitled to SMP as well as extra pay for KIT days; her SMP will be reduced, so you may wish to take this into account when agreeing a pay rate for extra work. When making these agreements, remember that if you pressure your female employees to work during their maternity leave it could be seen as discrimination, so make sure both of you are happy with the arrangements. Don't forget the first two weeks (four weeks if you run a factory) after birth are known as Compulsory Maternity Leave. This means your employee can't return to work (including working from home) until this period is over.

Yes - provided that you do so because of one of the acceptable reasons AND you follow the flexible working procedure. See Flexible Working.

One or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave can be taken within 56 days of the actual birth of the child or placement (if adoption). Please see Paternity Leave guidance for more information.

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