Parental leave is a right to take unpaid time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for the child's welfare.
A maximum total of 18 weeks leave is available for each child up to their 18th birthday.
Unpaid Parental Leave should not be confused with Shared Parental Leave which allows parents to share some maternity or adoption leave between them.
Parents can use the unpaid parental leave scheme to spend more time with children and strike a better balance between their work and family commitments.
Examples of the way that parental leave might be used are to spend more time with the child in the early years to: