Parental leave is now available to couples expecting a child through surrogacy.
Under the latest provision of the Children and Families Act to come into force, such parents-to-be now have the same rights to paid maternity and paternity leave as other parents.
Couples who plan to apply for a parental order will qualify. Such orders transfer the status of parent to the commissioning couple in a surrogacy arrangement
They will be entitled to a maximum of one year off work and the same rates of pay as those received during conventional maternity leave: 90 per cent of salary for the first six weeks, followed by the statutory rate (£139.58 or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings).
Surrogacy leave will be form of adoption leave, entitling either parent to take the equivalent of maternity and paternity leave. Both parties will also be entitled to time off during the pregnancy to attend antenatal classes.
Under English law the birth mother is regarded as the legal mother of children born to surrogacy arrangements until a parental order is issued by the courts.
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