Last checked: 02/01/2023

Parental leave

Employees (male and female) are entitled to parental leave on the birth or adoption of a child - regardless of their type of contract (part-time, full-time, etc.).

You cannot dismiss staff because they requested parental leave, or treat them less favourably than other staff.

Both parents are entitled to at least 4 months leave each. As a general rule, employees cannot transfer their leave entitlement to the other parent. However, some countries may allow them to transfer part of their entitlement, but no more than 3 months.


Under EU rules, staff can take parental leave at any time until the child is 8 years old. However, this age limit may be lower in some countries, under national law.

After taking parental leave, an employee is entitled to return to the same job. If that's not possible, you must offer them a similar job in line with their employment contract.

If returning employees request temporary changes to their working hours/patterns, you are obliged to give this request due consideration and make a sound business case for any refusal.

See also:

See also

EU legislation

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