Maternity and parental rights refer to a large number of rights given to working parents under UK employment law.

The rights are to maternity leave, maternity pay, paternity leave, paternity pay, adoption leave, adoption pay, parental leave (unpaid), shared parental leave, time off for dependents and the right to request flexible working.

The various rights are covered in a large number of acts and regulations.

Maternity and parental rights which are specified in the legislation are in addition to the normal employment related rights parents have, such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed, and not to be discriminated against.

Published in…

Updates: For employers: Family rights and flexible working | For employees: Family rights and flexible working |

Share this definition on

Other employment law terms

  1. ACAS Early Conciliation
  2. Adoption appointments
  3. Adoption leave
  4. Alternative dispute resolution
  5. Ante-natal care
  6. Apprenticeship
  7. Basic award
  8. Collective consultation
  9. Compensatory award
  10. Compromise agreement
  11. Constructive dismissal
  12. Contract of employment
  13. Disciplinary hearing
  14. Discrimination
  15. Employee shareholder
  16. Employment tribunal
  17. ETO reason
  18. Flexible working requests
  19. Grievance
  20. Gross misconduct
  21. Harassment
  22. Industrial action
  23. Injury to feelings
  24. Maternity leave
  25. Maternity pay
  26. Mediation
  27. Parental leave
  28. Paternity leave and pay
  29. Polkey deduction
  30. Pre-termination negotiations
  31. Protected characteristics
  32. Redundancy
  33. Restrictive covenants
  34. Settlement agreement
  35. Shared parental leave
  36. Staff handbook
  37. Statutory annual leave
  38. Strikes
  39. Study and training rights
  40. Summary dismissal
  41. Sunday working
  42. Trade union
  43. TUPE
  44. Unfair dismissal
  45. Unlawful deductions
  46. Victimisation
  47. Whistle-blowing
  48. Without prejudice
  49. Working Time Regulations
  50. Written particulars
  51. Wrongful dismissal
  52. Zero hours contracts