Those who expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing. This could be the child’s biological father or someone who is married or in a relationship with the child’s mother. This does include same-sex relationships.

To be eligible for paternity leave, the employee must be continuously employed for 26 weeks, ending 15 weeks before the baby is due.

The employee should notify you as soon as possible of their intention to take paternity leave, no later than 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. They must inform you of:

  • When the baby is due,
  • When they anticipate their paternity leave will start,
  • Whether they intend to take one week or two weeks. Employees are only entitled to take one or two consecutive weeks, and this must be after the baby is born.

Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)​​​​

To be eligible for SPP, employees must have 26 weeks of continuous employment. SPP will be paid at either 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, or the SPP rate of £140.98. However, some companies may give more than this, so it is always best to refer to the individual’s contract to determine their rate of pay during paternity leave.

What rights do employees on Paternity Leave have?

An employee’s rights and benefits remain unaffected while they are on paternity leave. Employees are entitled to return the same job they undertook before paternity leave, or a similar a job with comparable terms and conditions.

Antenatal appointments

Fathers, partners and civil partners are entitled to take unpaid time off during working hours to accompany the mother to 2 antenatal appointments. Their contract may allow for paid time off for these appointments, so it is always best to refer to the individual’s contract for clarification.

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About the author 

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners and regularly writes articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law. Outside of the office, James is a keen Cricketer, playing in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves going to watch his football team, Crewe Alexandra. Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.