If for whatever reason you need some extra help or advice, be that about your rights or career options, you have come to the right place.

Rights and disputes when taking parental leave or pay

All advisory bodies will highlight that you need to take all possible steps in house before moving forward with any external legal proceedings. Although this will not impede your right to take external action it may help your case if the issue eventually requires an external proceeding.

For example, if the company has denied your request for Statutory Maternity Leave without valid reasons, you should first raise this informally with your Line Manager. The best result for everyone is if this is resolved immediately and without any formal action being taken.

Should this fail to action the proper response, your second step should be to raise a formal grievance within the company. This could involve mediation, who is a third party from inside or outside the company who will mediate and find a solution. Should, for whatever reason, this fail, you should pursue external action.

ACAS Early Conciliation

Your first port of call if your employer is discriminating against you due to you having a child is to go to ACAS. This includes where an employer has not stuck to any agreements made regarding statutory leave or pay, or not upholding any of your rights regarding you having or adopting a child.

This is not the same as an employment tribunal claim. ACAS. Is a free third-party service that mediates talks between yourself and your employer. They will outline the law to both parties and explain what the result will be should it move onto an employment tribunal claim.

Usually, this will result in the employer backing off when they see it is your legal right to access statutory leave or pay, in that it would bring legal repercussions to them if they do not comply.

Citizens Advice

If you would just like advice about your options and to have someone to talk to, organisations such as Citizens Advice can give you personal insights into your options. This does not class as taking any formal action, so you can talk to them whenever you want without there being any potential repercussions.

Working Families

Working Families is an independent charity that offers free advice on employment rights. They provide advice on rights, discrimination and accessing benefits.

You can discuss the above with them on their free helpline, which is open Monday to Friday between 11am and 2pm.

General Employment Advice

We recognise the need for tailored advice and guidance, which is why we have developed this site.

If you are pregnant and need general advice about your employment or potential career pathways, you should read our dedicated pregnancy and work guide. If you want more information on accessing flexible work, you should read the advice we give employers about providing flexible work.

If you have been out of work for some time, we have written some tailored job application tips for parents, as well as advice on creating an ideal CV.

Single Parents

To find detailed information and support, you should read our dedicated guide for lone parents. Within this, there are a number of contacts and references to organisations who you can discuss your options and potential career pathways.