Understanding Statutory Leave: Your Guide to Employee Entitlements
As an employee in the United Kingdom, you are entitled to certain types of leave that are mandated by law. These are known as statutory leave entitlements, and they are designed to ensure that you have time off work for important life events, such as illness, childbirth, and bereavement. In this article, we will explore what statutory leave is, the different types of statutory leave available to UK employees, and how to calculate your entitlements.
What is Statutory Leave?
Statutory leave refers to the minimum amount of time off work that UK employees are entitled to by law. This includes both paid and unpaid leave, and it is designed to ensure that employees have time off work for important life events, such as illness, childbirth, and bereavement. Statutory leave entitlements are set out in law, and they apply to all employees, regardless of their length of service or the size of their employer.
Types of Statutory Leave
There are several types of statutory leave entitlements that UK employees are entitled to. These include:
- Sick leave
- Maternity leave
- Paternity leave
- Adoption leave
- Shared parental leave
- Bereavement leave
All UK employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid sick leave per year. This includes both short-term and long-term sickness. If you are unable to work due to illness, you should inform your employer as soon as possible and provide a doctor’s note if required.
Pregnant employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, regardless of their length of service or the size of their employer. The first 26 weeks are known as ordinary maternity leave, and the remaining 26 weeks are known as additional maternity leave. During this time, employees are entitled to statutory maternity pay (SMP) for up to 39 weeks.
Fathers and partners of pregnant women are entitled to up to two weeks of paternity leave. This must be taken within 56 days of the child’s birth, and it is paid at the statutory rate.
Employees who adopt a child are entitled to up to 52 weeks of adoption leave, regardless of their length of service or the size of their employer. During this time, employees are entitled to statutory adoption pay (SAP) for up to 39 weeks.
Shared Parental Leave
Parents of a child born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015 may be eligible for shared parental leave (SPL). This allows parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between them.
Employees are entitled to a minimum of two weeks of bereavement leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or if they suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This is known as parental bereavement leave.
Calculating Statutory Leave Entitlements
The amount of statutory leave entitlements that you are entitled to will depend on your individual circumstances, such as your length of service and the type of leave that you are taking. You can use the government’s online calculator to work out your entitlements.
In conclusion, statutory leave entitlements are an important part of UK employment law, and they ensure that employees have time off work for important life events. As an employee, it is important to understand your entitlements and to take advantage of them when necessary. By doing so, you can ensure that you have the time and support that you need to take care of yourself and your family.