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Legal Obligations on Employers Regarding Leave and Time Off

If you run a business, you must legally grant your employees a certain amount of time off each year.

In addition to this, employees can be entitled to time off work, or leave, for a variety of other reasons, which are covered in this section. In some cases you must pay your employees while they are on leave – in other cases you do not have to. To find out more see our pages on the types of leave outlined below:

Annual leave

By law, employees are entitled to a minimum number of days of holiday from work each year, which is their annual leave entitlement. The number of days to which they are entitled depends on a number of factors, but most workers will be entitled to a minimum of 28 days – you can find out more on our page dedicated to annual leave.

Maternity and paternity leave

One of the rights an employee has when they fall pregnant is to take time off, before, during or after the birth. Partners of pregnant women are also entitled to some time off, known as paternity leave. It is very important that employees are not discriminated against for reasons of maternity.

Parental and family leave

Employees who have children will also be entitled to a certain amount of time off work in the form of parental leave. To find out more about this type of leave, see our page on parental and family leave.

Other reasons for leave

In addition to the aforementioned types of leave, there are other reasons why employees may be entitled to take time off work. This includes time off for public duties, such as jury service, and compassionate leave. You can find out more about these on our page on other reasons for leave.


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