Paternity Leave and Pay

Maternity Leave and Pay
July 4, 2016
Shared Parental Leave and Pay
July 4, 2016
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Employees may be entitled to the following when their partner is having a baby, adopting a child or having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement:

  1. 1 or 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave
  2. Shared Parental Leave, if the child was due or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015
  3. Employees may not get both leave and pay

Paternity Leave

Employees could get either 1 or 2 weeks. Employees get the same amount of leave if their partner has a multiple birth (eg twins).

Employees must take their leave in one go. A week is the same amount of days that they normally work in a week, eg if they only work on Mondays and Tuesdays a week is 2 days.

Start and end dates

Leave can’t start before the birth. It must end within 56 days of the birth.

Employees must give employer 28 days’ notice if they want to change their start date.

They don’t have to give a precise date when they want to take leave (eg 1 February). Instead they can give the general time, eg the day of the birth or 1 week after the birth.

The rules are different if they adopt.

Leave for antenatal appointments

Employees can take unpaid leave to accompany a pregnant woman to 2 antenatal appointments if they’re:

  1. the baby’s father
  2. the expectant mother’s spouse or civil partner
  3. in a long-term relationship with the expectant mother
  4. the intended parent (if you’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement)

Employees can take up to 6 and a half hours per appointment. The employer can choose to give longer.

Employees can apply for leave immediately if they’re a permanent employee. They’ll need to have been doing a job for 12 weeks before they qualify if they’re an agency worker.


The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay is £139.58, or 90% of the employees average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

Any money you get is paid in the same way as wages, eg monthly or weekly. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

Start and end dates

The money is usually paid while they’re on leave. The employer must confirm the start and end dates for the Paternity Pay when they claim it.

To change the start date employees must give the employer 28 days’ notice.


Employees must be taking time off to look after the child and be one of the following:

  1. the father
  2. the husband or partner of the mother (or adopter)
  3. the child’s adopter
  4. the intended parent (if they’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement)

There are extra conditions employees need to meet to qualify for leave and pay.

Employees can’t get paternity pay and leave if they’ve taken paid time off to attend adoption appointments.

Eligibility for Paternity Leave

Employees must:

  1. be an employee
  2. have worked for the employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)
  3. give the correct notice
  4. The ‘qualifying week’ is different if they adopt.

Eligibility for Paternity Pay

Employees must:

  1. have worked for the employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)
  2. be employed by your employer up to the date of birth
  3. earn at least £112 a week (before tax)
  4. give the correct notice
  5. The ‘qualifying week’ is different if they adopt.

If they lose the baby

Employees can still get Paternity Leave or pay if the baby is:

  1. stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy
  2. born alive at any point during the pregnancy

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