Paternity Leave

An employee with 26 weeks continuous service who has a child born, or expected to be born, is entitled to take either one or two consecutive weeks (at their choice) as paternity leave.

Statutory paternity leave must be taken within the period of 56 days beginning with the date of childbirth or if the baby is born prematurely up to 56 days after the actual date of childbirth. The employee must give their employer notice to take leave on or before the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.

In addition, as of 6th April 2010, an employee who:

  • in relation to the birth of a child due on or after 3rd April 2011, is the child's biological father or the spouse or partner (of either sex) of the child's mother
  • in relation to the adoption of a child, is the spouse or partner (of either sex) of the person who, having been matched for adoption, has elected to take adoption leave (referred to as 'the adopter' for the purposes of the APL Regulations)

can take Additional Paternity Leave (APL). An eligible employee's statutory minimum entitlement is to one period of APL which must be taken to care for the child, taken in multiples of complete weeks and last between two weeks and 26 weeeks. The period of APL must be taken within a 'window' that starts 20 weeks after, and ends 12 months after, the child's date of birth or placement for adoption and is dependent on the employee's spouse, civil partner or partner having returned to work from their statutory maternity or adoption leave.

In most cases the employee will be entitled to statutory paternity pay ('SPP') during the leave, this will be either The prescribed rate set by the Government each tax year or 90% of the employee's normal weekly earnings, whichever is the least.

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