Contact one of our advisors now Call 0800 088 6004

Employment Law Updates – Parental Leave Requests

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

A reminder to employers to be wary of parental leave requests, whether formal or innocuous.

The EAT recently determined in Hilton Foods Solutions Ltd v Andrew Wright that an employee is able to bring an unfair dismissal claim where they ‘sought to take’ parental leave despite not making a formal leave application.

Mr Wright has 2 children, and his son is disabled. He was made redundant and alleged that the real reason for his dismissal was because he took parental leave. Hilton Foods contended that Mr Wright did not satisfy the provisions of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 as he only engaged in informal discussions regarding parental leave with management. No formal written application for parental leave was ever made.

The EAT held that it is not an absolute requirement for employees to give formal notice of taking parental leave in order to be considered as having ‘sought’ to take parental leave as per the Regulations. An employee can show they had ‘sought’ to take parental leave without such notice, and instead should be assessed by considering the relevant facts of each individual circumstance. Employers should therefore be aware that whether an employee has ‘sought’ to take parental leave is a question of fact, and the lack of a formal application does not mean that the employee has failed to comply with the Regulations.

For more help with parental leave, contact our employment law team and find out how Wilson Browne Solicitors can help you.

Amy Lee


Amy Lee


Amy is often the first point of contact for clients of the employment team.