Human Resource Solutions


Free Employee Policy Templates for Small Businesses

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Updated for 2024

Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Parental Leave Policies

(Including Flexible Working Requests)


Working parents have legal rights in the workplace..

maternity paternity policy

Working parents have the following legal rights at work:

  • paid and unpaid maternity leave
  • paid and unpaid paternity leave
  • paid and unpaid adoption leave
  • to request flexible working hours
  • to share maternity / adoption leave and pay
  • unpaid parental leave of up to 4 weeks per year
  • from April 2020 paid and unpaid bereavement leave for the death of a child

To comply with current legislation it is advisable to ensure your business has policies on these rights which fully comply with current UK employment law. Below we supply free policy templates which meet all these requirements and which you can download and adapt for your business.

Free Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Shared
Parental Leave Policy and Document Downloads

1. Integrated Policy on Leave and Pay for:
Maternity, Paternity, Parental and Parental Bereavement
This is a fully integrated policy which cover all the statutory entitlements to maternity, adoption, paternity and (shared / unpaid) parental leave and pay. This is a good option for businesses which don't have any policies currently in place. The policy has been updated to include the 2020 parental bereavement provisions


2. Shared Parental Leave Policy
This policy relates to the statutory requirements around shared parental leave and pay and is suitable if you already have policies on maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave.

The policies below cover each individual element of parental entitlements. You can adopt these policies individually or as a suite of policies with the Shared Parental Leave Policy above.

3. Maternity Leave Policy
Covers all statutory maternity leave and pay arrangements for pregnant employees.

4. Paternity Policy
Outlines the current statutory entitlements of employees whose wife, civil partner or partner gives birth to a child. Paternity leave is also available to an adoptive parent where a child is matched or newly placed with them for adoption. This policy gives details of the arrangements for paternity leave and pay.

5. Adoption Policy
This policy sets out the statutory rights and responsibilities of employees who are planning to adopt a child and gives details of the arrangements for adoption leave and pay.

6. Parental Leave Policy
Outlines an employees right to 18 weeks unpaid leave for the purpose of caring for a child. This is in addition to the Shared Parental Leave rights.

7.Parental Bereavement Leave Policy
Bereaved parents are entitled to two weeks’ leave following the death of a child under the age of 18 or if they suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

8. Procedure for Making a Flexible Working Request
Any member of staff regardless of length of service can request flexible working. Here is a template which you can use with mimimal customisation for your business. It fully conforms to ACAS guidelines and revised 2024 legal requirements.

Useful Links

Ante-natal rights for fathers

Fathers and partners have a right to take unpaid time off work to accompany a pregnant woman to see a midwife or obstetrician.The right is to time off on up to two occasions for a maximum of 6.5 hours each, and this is available without your employee having to have any qualifying service - so is available from day one of their employment.

ACAS on Shared Parental Leave
Comprehensive guidance and templates from ACAS with regard to shared parental leave.

Maternity and Paternity Online Calculator

If you need to calculate statutory maternity, adoption or paternity leave or pay, there is an online calculator here provided by the Government website