Working Parents and CarersWorking parents and carers are supported by family-friendly rights to help them to look after their dependents. Family-friendly rights include maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, parental leave, also working parents have rights to request flexible working hours.The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives employees the right to take time off for an emergency reason. The right allows an employee to take a reasonable amount of time off work to care for their dependents.Maternity leave Pregnant employees have the right to take 52 weeks of maternity leave. It is made up of ordinary maternity leave (first 26 weeks) and additional maternity leave (last 26 weeks).An employee does not have to take 52 weeks but must take minimum 2 weeks of leave after the baby is born or 4 weeks if works in a factory.Statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance is paid for up to 39 weeks. An employee might get more than the statutory amount of leave and pay if their employer has a company maternity scheme, but they cannot offer less than the statutory amount.A pregnant employee has four main legal rights: the right to take paid time off for antenatal care, maternity leave, maternity pay or maternity allowance and are protected against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal. Employees’ rights are protected while on Statutory Maternity Leave, for example, right to pay rise, holiday and return to work.Paternity leave Employed fathers, partners and civil partners of a pregnant woman are entitled to a paternity leave. Paternity leave is available to employees who have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing, are the biological father of the child or the mother’s husband or partner (including same-sex relationships).An employee can get one or two weeks of Parental leave, they need to take it within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child. Paternity leave cannot start before the birth of the baby. An employee can take unpaid leave to accompany a pregnant woman to 2 antenatal appointments. An employee can get more than Statutory Paternity Leave pay if their employer has a company paternity scheme, but they can’t offer less than the statutory amount.Adoption LeaveAn employee who has been matched with a child for adoption can take adoption leave and has the same rights as an employee on maternity leave. The main adopter is entitled to take up to 52 weeks of adoption leave and the second adopter can apply for paternity leave or they can share their responsibilities by taking shared parental leave.Shared Parental Leave Shared parental leave is a special type of leave where parents have the option to share their responsibility for their child in the first 52 weeks of their life. Parents can choose how to share their leave, can take the same time off or take it in turns. Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2015 gives parents or adopters more flexibility.Parental LeaveParental leave is an unpaid leave for employees to take to look after their children. The parental leave entitlement is 18 weeks of leave for each child or adopted child up to their 18th birthday. The limit is 4 weeks per year for each child.PayThere are many reasons why all employees should be paid fairly. Based on Equality Act, Employers must treat men and women the same in terms of pay, promotion and bonuses. For example, in the same organisation, a woman is doing exactly the same job as a man but gets less pay. Employees can claim that the employer discriminates them because of their protected characteristic such as gender, age or disability. Employers should pay equally to avoid those type of claims.Last year, the government set out new roles and forced all organisations, who employ more than 250 staff to publish the pay difference in their organisation. Also, employers must pay their employees the National Minimum Wages, it is a criminal offence to pay less. This is another reason why employers should pay all employees fairly, mainly to avoid bad reputation and not to break law. Another example might be motivation aspects. When staff feels they are paid fairly and are rewarded for good performance, they are happier and add value to the organisation.