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PATERNITY LEAVE

Employees with 26 weeks continuous service at the point of the 15th week before the child is expected to be born who are also the biological father, or the mother’s husband/partner or the adopter of the child and who has or expects to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing will be, subject to giving appropriate notification and self certification, entitled to paternity leave.

The employee applying for paternity leave and pay must complete the appropriate government form at least 15 weeks before the baby is due and provide this to their employer.

Employees with 26 weeks continuous service at the point of the 15th week before the child is expected to be born, who are also the biological father, or the mother’s husband/partner or the adopter of the child and who has or expects to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing will be, subject to giving appropriate notification and self-certification, entitled to paternity leave.

‘Ordinary paternity leave’ consists of 2 weeks of leave to be taken for the purposes of caring for the child or supporting the mother or adoptive parent in the case of adoption. The entitlement is to Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) and Pay (SPP), with the rate set each year by the government. In practice, many employers prefer to offer SPL on normal terms and conditions.

The employee applying for paternity leave and pay must notify their employer of their intention to take paternity leave at least 15 weeks before the baby is due.

The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 came into force on 6th April 2024.  The following changes to legislation now apply in all cases where the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) is on or after 6th April 2024:

  • Instead of taking the entire two-week entitlement in consecutive weeks, employees can now separate their leave into separate one-week blocks.
  • Employees can take their paternity leave any time in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of their child (rather than having to take it within the 56 days following birth)
  • Rather than the current 15-week notice period before the expected week of childbirth or adoption, employees only need to give 28 days’ notice (4 weeks).
  • Any dates specified for leave to be taken can be changed as long as an employer is given at least 28 days’ notice. This is instead of just a change in the start date to reflect the other changes.

Aside from paternity leave, the employee may also take unpaid leave to accompany their pregnant partner to two antenatal appointments (up to 6.5 hours each) if eligible.”

Fathers and partners of mothers may also be entitled to statutory Shared Parental Leave if they meet certain requirements. The right is also available to adoptive parents. Further information can be found in the Shared Parental Leave A-Z

Typical employment law pitfalls

As an employer, it is important that you ensure your employee is fully informed of what is required of them, including any forms that need completing. Family Friendly processes are often a minefield of potential issues, so it is key that correct processes are followed to reduce the risk to a business.

Further resources:

Statutory Additional Paternity Leave (SAPL) and Pay Self Certification form

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR, payroll or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at enquiries@myhrdept.co.uk to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.

 

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