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Can my employer postpone my parental leave?

If an employer considers that your absence would unduly disrupt the business then they can postpone your parental leave for no longer than 6 months after the date when you originally wanted to start your leave.

Your employer should discuss this with you and confirm the postponement in writing no later than 7 days after you have given them your notice of wanting to take leave. The employer’s notice should say why they are postponing the leave and set out new dates for it.

Your employer cannot postpone your leave entitlement a second time, even if they feel that their reasons for refusing the leave in the first instance have not changed.

If the postponement of parental leave by the employer means that the leave then starts after the child’s 5th birthday/ placement anniversary, or 18th birthday if your child is disabled, then you are still entitled to take it. However, if this situation occurs then you should seek advice immediately from your union rep or an advice agency.