All qualifying employees, who’ve been with you for at least 26 continuous weeks by the end of the 15th week before their child’s expected week of childbirth, are entitled to statutory paternity rights.
Not sure what they are? In this free guide, we cover everything from paternity rights and notification rules, to ante-natal appointments and paternity leave and pay.
The law on paternity leave in the UK is simple – if an employee who meets the qualifying criteria is a partner to a person having a baby or adopting a child, then you as an employer have to give them the right leave and pay entitlements for employees on statutory paternity leave.
Paternity leave is different from annual leave and unpaid parental leave and gives new parents time off to look after the new additions to their family throughout the first couple of months.
This should be given to qualifying employees who have:
They also have to be:
Paternity leave has to start and finish 56 days after the birth of the child. If the child was born before the first day of the expected week of birth, it will still start 56 days after the first day of the expected week of birth.
With adoption, paternity starts and finishes during a 56-day period, beginning with the date the child is placed with the adopter.
Paternity leave is either one week or two consecutive weeks of leave – it’s up to the employee. The amount of time off doesn’t change if they have or adopt twins or more than one child.
For qualifying employees, statutory paternity pay is either £172.38 or 90% of the employee’s annual weekly earnings, depending on which is lower. The conditions of entitlement to statutory paternity pay aren’t the same as paternity leave. Those who wish to claim statutory paternity pay:
As well as this:
While we cover the specifics in our free guide, here’s a taster. A qualified employee for statutory paternity leave includes employees who:
Qualified employees are entitled to unpaid time off to attend a maximum of two antenatal appointments with the mother, and on each occasion, the maximum time off during working hours is six and a half hours.
While you’re under no legal obligation to pay employees attending these appointments, there’s nothing stopping you from paying them their full wages. However, it’s important to be consistent and if you do this for one employee and not another it may leave you open to challenges in the future.
An employer may be able to reclaim up to 92% of any Paternity Leave Pay.
This is just the start of understanding paternity leave and pay – our free guide takes you into more detail on everything you need to know as an employer, including antenatal appointments, record keeping, and who has paternity rights. Download your free copy today by filling in the form on this page.
You can also discover more about shared paternity leave in our blog post.
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