Eligible employees are entitled to choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks’ paternity leave.
They can choose to start their leave after the date of the child’s birth (whether this is earlier or later than expected), or from a chosen date.
To be eligible for paternity leave and pay, employees must have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing, be the biological father of the child or the mother’s husband or partner, and have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks leading into the 15th week before the baby is due.
Leave can start on any day of the week on or following the child’s birth but must be completed 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 expected week of birth.
Only one period of leave will be available to employees irrespective of whether more than one child is born as the result of the same pregnancy.
During their paternity leave, employees who earn over the NI lower earnings limit are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) from their employers, paid at the lesser of the statutory rate or 90% of average weekly wages.
Employees are required to inform their employers of their intention to take paternity leave by the 15th week before the baby is expected, unless this is not reasonably practicable. They will need to tell their employers the week the baby is due and whether they wish to take one or two weeks’ leave, and when they want their leave to start.
Employees are entitled to the benefit of their normal terms and conditions of employment, apart from wages or salary, throughout their paternity leave. Most employees will be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SSP) for this period. Employees are entitled to return to the same job following paternity leave.
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