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Right to Request Flexible Working Arrangements

Sefton Council recognises the needs of its employees to balance their work and personal responsibilities. The Council also recognises its obligations under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended) and regulations made under it.

Flexible working is any type of working arrangement that provides flexibility on how long, where and when an employee works.

The policy applies to all employees, regardless of length of service, contract type, job role or reason to ask for flexible working.

Childcare Vouchers

The Council is in partnership with a childcare voucher provider, Fideliti who offer existing members a salary sacrifice scheme. However, due to government changes the childcare voucher scheme closed to new entrants in October 2018. Therefore if you were not an existing member of Fideliti prior to October 2018, you will not be eligible to join. There is a government alternative to the Childcare Voucher Scheme called Tax Free Childcare. Further information can be found on the Government website.

Maternity Leave

All employees regardless of hours of work or length of service have the right to 52 weeks maternity leave and the right to return to work. Employees with at least 26 weeks service (at the 15th week before their expected week of childbirth (EWC) will qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. Employees with at least 12 months service (calculated up to the 11th week before EWC) qualify for Occupational Maternity Pay, if returning to local authority work for at least 3 months.

We support parents of premature babies.  Approval was given for the introduction of the Employer with Heart Charter Mark which supports parents of premature babies  Employees are able to extend their leave by the number of days a baby was born prior to their due date. Fathers/partners are entitled to an extra two weeks special leave.  The Smallest Things is a charity which aims to raise awareness and understanding around premature birth, to improve follow up care for parents following their NICU stay and campaigns to extend maternity leave and statutory maternity pay for parents of premature babies. Further information can be found here.

Ordinary Paternity leave / Shared Parental leave / Parental Leave

Ordinary Paternity Leave is available to all employees and is granted to enable new fathers/partners/nominated carers to provide practical and emotional support to the mother around the time of the birth of her baby. All employees are entitled to 2 weeks Ordinary Paternity Leave. The first week is paid at normal pay based on normal contractual hours. The second week is paid at the statutory paternity pay rate. 

Shared Parental Leave enables eligible parents to choose how to share the care of their child during the first year of birth or adoption. Its purpose is to give parents more flexibility in considering how to best care for, and bond with, their child. All eligible employees have a statutory right to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL). There may also be an entitlement to some Shared Parental Pay(ShPP). Eligible parents can get up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave.

To get Shared Parental Leave, there must be 2 parents sharing responsibility for a child. For either parent to get shared parental leave, the birth parent or primary adopter must do one of the following:

  • end their maternity or adoption leave and return to work
  • give their employer notice to 'curtail' (end) their maternity or adoption leave early

To get SPL and ShPP, an employee and their partner need to:

Parental Leave - Employees have a basic right to 18 weeks (unpaid) parental leave if they have one year's continuous service and they meet specific government requirements. 

Adoption Leave

Statutory Adoption Leave is 52 weeks. It’s made up of:

  • 26 weeks of Ordinary Adoption Leave
  • 26 weeks of Additional Adoption Leave

To qualify for Statutory Adoption Leave, you must:

  • be an employee
  • give the correct notice
  • Provide proof of the adoption or surrogacy

Employees with at least 12 months service at the 11th week before the week in which you are notified of being matched with a child will qualify for Occupational Adoption Pay, if returning to local authority work for at least 3 months.  To be eligible for Statutory Adoption Pay, you must have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the week you were matched with a child.  

Special Leave Policy

The Council have a number of provisions for special leave available to support employees when they require time off work to deal with issues in their life outside of work. These include time off for dependants, care for a seriously ill dependant/partner,  carers leave and time off for foster carers to attend necessary meetings and/or training provided by the Fostering Agency to name a few.  Further details can be obtained from the Corporate HR Department. 

Job Sharing Scheme

We operate a Job Sharing Scheme which, apart from some proven exceptions, is available to all employees. Job sharing means that two people can voluntarily share the duties and responsibilities of one full-time job. Pay and leave are pro rata. 


Last Updated on Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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