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Paternity Leave
Since 3rd April 2011, both Ordinary and Additional Paternity leave can be taken by employees meeting certain criteria. To qualify for ordinary paternity leave, they must:

  • have been working for you for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the beginning of the week when their baby is due
  • be the child's biological father or be the mother’s husband or partner (including a mother’s partner in a same-sex relationship)
  • be the child's adopter
  • be fully involved in the child’s upbringing and be taking the time off to support the mother or carer for the baby
  • take one or two weeks but not as odd days and two weeks must be taken together
  • tell you in writing at least 15 weeks before the beginning of the week when the baby is due, or within seven days of being told by the adoption agency that they have been matched with an adoptive child.
Ordinary paternity leave cannot start before the baby is born. It has to finish within 56 days of the baby being born or, if the baby arrives early, within 56 days for the first day of that week. An employee can still take paternity leave if the baby is unfortunately stillborn after 24 weeks' of pregnancy. Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay is paid for up to two consecutive weeks, depending on how long an employee chooses to take Ordinary Paternity Leave for, or is paid at 90 per cent of their average weekly earnings, if that is less.

Additional Paternity Leave

Additional Paternity Leave is for a maximum of 26 weeks. If an employee's partner has returned to work, the leave can be taken between 20 weeks and one year after the child is born or placed for adoption.
To take Additional Paternity Leave, an employee must have an employment contract, and have been working for you for at least 26 weeks by:
  • the end of the 15th week before the start of the week when the baby is due
  • the end of the week they are matched with a child if adopting within the UK
  • the date their child enters Great Britain for the purposes of adoption if adopting from overseas.
To qualify for Additional Paternity Leave an employee must be taking the time off to care for the child, and the child's mother or adopter must:
  • have been entitled to one or more of the following - Statutory Maternity Leave, Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay
  • have started working again so that any relevant pay has stopped.
  • Furthermore, to qualify for Additional Paternity Leave an employee must write to their employer at least eight weeks before the start of the leave. The letter must include:
  • the expected date of the baby's birth or date of notification of being matched for adoption
  • the actual date of baby's birth, or placement for adoption
  • the start date of the Additional Paternity leave and pay
  • their relationship to the mother, and that leave is being taken to care for the child.

Terms and Conditions of Employment and Paternity Leave

  • an employee will still accrue normal employment benefits (apart from wages)
  • an employee will be able to go back to the same job
  • an employee cannot be treated unfairly because they have taken or requested to take paternity leave
  • an employee may be able to ask their employer about flexible working.

If you have any queries regarding Paternity Leave, please contact Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000.