EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS FOR PARENTS THROUGH SURROGACY IN UK
In the UK new legislation dealing with maternity, paternity and adoptive leave has been passed and will come into force on the 5th April 2015. The main changes are:-
1. Adoptive parents will have the same leave and pay entitlements as are currently available to birth parents.
2. Parents through surrogacy will be entitled to the same employment rights and entitlements as adoptive and birth parents.
3. Intended parents though surrogacy will be able to choose which one of them will take the main leave (maternity leave) and which will take the secondary leave (paternity leave). This is however subject to and dependent on them applying for a Parental Order. In other words if they do not take the necessary steps to regularise their relationship with the child born through surrogacy, then they will not be entitled to avail of these employment rights and benefits.
The right of a woman acting as a surrogate to full maternity leave and pay has not been interfered with by this legislation and remain fully available.
In light of the recent European Court of Justice decisions dealing with entitlement to paid maternity leave in a surrogacy situation, this is a welcome move, and hopefully will be followed by the legislators in this country.