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Paternity

Paternity leave and pay applies to fathers-to-be or fathers who will share the responsibility with a partner for bringing up a child (including where the child is adopted).

Paternity leave can be claimed by employees who:

  • have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing
  • are the biological father of the child or the mother's husband or partner (including same sex relationships) and
  • have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due or the end of the week in which the child's adopter is notified of being matched with the child

You can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paid paternity leave (not odd days).  You may be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay, currently £135.45 per week or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings, if that is less. However, your employer may give more, depending on your terms and conditions of employment.

You must take your paternity leave within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child, or if the child is born early, within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the week in which the birth was expected.

Additional paternity leave and pay

Eligible employees can take up to 26 weeks’ leave to care for their new baby. You qualify if:

  • you are the father of a child, or partner or civil partner of the mother
  • you and your partner receive notification that you are matched with a child for adoption
  • your wife, partner or civil partner is adopting a child from overseas and the child enters Great Britain
  • the child's mother is entitled to statutory maternity leave, maternity pay or allowance or statutory adoption leave or pay

Additional Paternity Leave (APL) is for a maximum of 26 weeks and can be taken any time from 20 weeks after the child is born, but it must have finished by the child's first birthday. If the child is adopted, the leave can start any time between 20 weeks and 52 weeks after the child starts living with the adopter.

To qualify for APL and pay you must notify your employer in writing at least eight weeks before the start of the leave, telling them:

  • the expected date of the baby's birth or date of being notified of being matched for adoption
  • the actual date of baby's birth, or placement of adoption
  • the start date of the additional paternity leave and pay
  • your relationship to the mother
  • that leave is taken to care for the child

The child's mother or adopter must have started working again and any relevant payment must have stopped, with at least two weeks of the 39 week payment period remaining. You must intend to care for the child during your Additional Statutory Paternity Pay period. Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is only payable during the period of the 39 week Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity or Statutory Adoption Pay period. It cannot continue beyond these periods.

Contact us for further information.

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