Labour Research April 2002

Features: Law queries

Law queries

* We understand that, under the new rights to parental leave, parents of children up to the child's fifth birthday have the right to take up to four weeks' leave a year, within an overall maximum of 13 weeks. We also know that the rules say that if a parent only wants a couple of days off in a week these are counted as being one whole week. What we don't know is how a "week" is defined.

A "week" is defined in the Employment Rights Act 1996 as ending on a Saturday. This means that it begins on a Sunday. If your member wanted to be off from Thursday to Tuesday, under the legislation this would count as two weeks.

More information: Section 235(1) Employment Rights Act 1996