Family & work-life issues

Employees must, of course, have a life outside work. It is often suggested that a healthy and happy workforce is a more productive one. How far you take that is a matter of judgment but, in any event, some aspects of life outside work have statutory protection and underpinning. These include:

  • rights to maternity (and adoption) leave and pay (and to return to work after maternity leave)
  • rights to shared parental leave and pay
  • the right to paternity leave
  • the right to take time off to deal with family emergencies
  • the right to request flexible working

As well as specific statutory duties, employers have more general duties to take reasonable steps to ensure that a lack of work-life balance does not impair the health or safety of employees.

Failure to comply with duties in this area can lead to employers facing claims for a variety of forms of discrimination, as well as claims under the specific legislation conferring the family-related rights.

We assist employers in this area by:

  • advising in relation to the various statutory rights
  • drafting policies and procedures to assist with the implementation of those rights
  • providing draft correspondence to employees in relation to their rights and any requests that they may make
  • defending and/or settling claims for breaches of such rights where necessary