In general, parents who are working are entitled to take parental leave from employment until their child is eight years old. If your child has a serious or long term illness, you can take parental leave until the child is 16.
You can take parental leave for each of your children. It amounts to a total of 18 weeks (increased in 2013) per child. You are entitled to take the 18 weeks per child in one continuous period or in two separate blocks of a minimum of six weeks each, with a gap of at least 10 weeks between the blocks. If your employer agrees, you can separate your leave into periods of days or even hours.
Both parents have an equal separate entitlement to parental leave. Unless you and your partner work for the same employer, you can only claim your own entitlement of 18 weeks per child. If you both work for the same employer and the employer agrees, you may transfer your parental leave entitlement to each other.