Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption rights in the UK apply both before and after birth or adoption. Mothers, fathers, partners and adoptive parents are entitled to paternity, maternity or adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave.

This factsheet introduces the main rights and outlines shared parental leave. 

This factsheet was last updated by Rachel Suff: Senior Employee Relations Adviser, CIPD

Rachel informs CIPD policy thinking on health and wellbeing as well as employment relations. She has over 25 years’ experience in the employment and HR arena.

Related content

Employment law
Maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and pay: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources around maternity and parental rights, including Q&As on shared parental leave and adoption law and relevant case law

For Members
Thought leadership
Childcare reforms: What is needed for a successful rollout?

James Cockett, Labour Market Economist at the CIPD, analyses the UK Government’s recent budget announcement on childcare reforms and the challenges in the sector

Topics
Maternity and parental rights

Explore our guidance on maternity, paternity, shared parental leave and pay.

Guides
People manager guide: Family leave

Advice for managers on how they can help to manage maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, parental leave and parental bereavement leave

Explore our other factsheets

Factsheets
Workforce reporting

Learn about defining, measuring and reporting human capital, and how HR can use human capital information to drive performance

Factsheets
Employment status

Understand how being defined in UK law as an employee, a worker or self-employed affects employment rights and employers’ legal responsibilities

Factsheets
Strategic reward and total reward

Outlines the main characteristics of strategic and total reward, and looks at designing and implementing a reward strategy across the organisation

Factsheets
Employee voice

This factsheet looks at employee voice, its purposes and use, and the benefits it can bring to an organisation and its workforce. It also covers whistleblowing and creating a speak-up culture

Factsheets