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A number of parents might not be making the most of their rights at work, according to a charity.

Many mums and dads are actually both entitled to more than four months of unpaid time off per child to look after them, the Working Families charity says.

But research by employment law specialists Crossland suggests four out of 10 parents had no idea about this right to parental leave.

Here are some of the rights parents might be entitled to:

Parental leave

You should be able to get unpaid time off for childcare if you have worked somewhere for more than a year and give your employer at least 21 days’ notice.

The full entitlement is 18 weeks of leave per parent, per child, but it is unlikely you will be able to take it in one go.

Working Families says most parents will have to take it a week at a time, with four weeks allowed per child in any one year.

Time off for dependants

A woman with her husband eight months into her pregnancy

This is the right to a shorter period of urgent time off for your child, which parents may be able to use if their child is sick or childcare arrangements fall through.

The right covers a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off, which the charity says is usually limited to one or two days.

You have to let your employer know what’s happening and return to work as quickly as possible.

The right can also be used to care for others who depend on you in a crisis, such as a sick or elderly parent.