Employees can request family leave for a number of reasons; these include Maternity, Paternity, Additional Paternity, Parental and Adoption.

There are processes staff will need to follow when they inform you that they or their partner are expecting or adopting a baby.  It is vital to keep up to date on all upcoming legislation as it is constantly changing, such as the introduction of the additional paternity leave and pay that was introduced in April 2011.  It is a statutory requirement for you to grant leave and pay for family leave, where the criteria have been met by the employee.  Procedures for steps to take to make a request for family leave can be outlined in your staff handbook.

Special Leave is where an employee requests time off because of family circumstances, normally an emergency, which has arisen. These matters are often unplanned, so it is important to have policies and procedures in place for when these events do occur.  Employees may request for special leave if a circumstance arises affecting their family or a member of their family which requires their assistance.  This also includes compassionate leave.  It is best practice to outline these allowances and how to request them, in your staff handbook.

Whilst there are statutory rights and regulations in place for this type of leave, the rules can be complicated to understand.  We can provide straightforward and pragmatic advice on how to handle these situations as they arise, as well as providing documentation that will guide you through any family leave situation with ease.