How does parental leave work?

I have requested five days unpaid parental leave from my employer. There’s no disagreement as to whether I‘m entitled to it. It has been granted but as the days (which is what I work in a week) are over a bank holiday weekend, they have told me the following:
– The law requires that it is taken in blocks of a week and my week working week is Monday to Friday
– I can take less than a week, but it has to be counted as a week. Therefore taking the parental leave over two working weeks means they will deduct two weeks parental leave rather than one week from my four-week yearly allowance. 
To confuse matters even more, my employers state on their policy that they adopt a national collectively agreed scheme which allows leave to be taken in blocks of from 1/2 a day. But they have then gone on to contradict the information in the agreed scheme.

Under the default scheme, you do need to take parental leave in blocks of a week. As you want to straddle the Bank Holiday, you would be off for more than a week, so this uses two of your weeks – your employer is correct in that respect. In fact, under the default scheme your employer would be entitled to ask you to take the full two weeks or none at all.

But it seems that your employer may not use the default scheme, but another collectively agreed scheme. I would need to see that before advising as to your entitlement under that scheme. I suggest that you request a copy of it if you do not have one already.

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