What is the employment act?

The employment act is a legislation within the UK which protects employees and stipulates numerous matters than employers must recognise in line with the legislations put in place. This includes matter such as right to leave and pay and maternity issues. The first account of this legislation was made in 2002 and was later updated in 2008. Whilst the law is in place to provide guidelines to employers in many cases organisations adopt their own policies and distribute these to employees. The employment act has been created in order to allow employees to be aware of their rights within the work place.

Paternity leave is the entitlement of the partner of somebody is pregnant and they will consequently be becoming a parent. Within the employment act numerous criteria regulate who is entitled to take paternity leave, this includes the duration of employment, the relationship to the newborn or expected child and to what the relationship is with the childs mother. Paternity leave is granted in order to allow care to provided to the child and to support the mother. Under the employment act anybody wishing to take paternity leave must do so within 56 days of the child being born. Statutory paternity leave consists of two consecutive weeks on an agreed date between employer and employee. If the regulations allow so, the act stats that a person is entitled to choose from statutory paternity pay in relation to a period of one week or two non-consecutive periods that amount to a week.

The employment act also outlines the rights of a woman to maternity leave, this therefore means she has statutory rights whilst in employment, employers must recognise this. A woman has the right to 26 weeks of regular maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave, totaling 52 weeks that are known as statutory maternity leave. In order to qualify for the statutory period it is the responsibility of the woman to inform the employer. Employees qualify for the statutory period regardless of how long they have been with the employer, how many hours are worked or how much they are paid.

Under the employment act women are protected against being discriminate against due to them being pregnant. Employees must inform the employer that they are pregnant, when the baby is due and when the maternity leave will start. In order to place a request for maternity leave to start a request should be made 28 days before the desired date.