Paternity leave
Paternity leave

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Paternity leave
  • Entitlement to take paternity leave
  • Notice requirements
  • Proving entitlement
  • Payment
  • Right to return
  • Adoptions from outside the UK
  • Protection against detriment
  • Protection against dismissal

FORTHCOMING CHANGE: A proposed new rate for statutory paternity pay (SPP), which will be effective from April 2020, has been published by the government. It is £151.20 per week. For more information, see News Analysis: Rates of SMP, SSP, Maternity Allowance etc to be increased in April 2020 (9/1/20).
FORTHCOMING CHANGE: Proposed new National Insurance contribution (NIC) rates, limits and thresholds, to take effect from 6 April 2020, have been published in draft form by the government. For the purposes of SPP entitlement, the proposed lower earnings limit from April 2020 will be £120 (increased from £118). For more information, see LNB News 31/01/2020 51.

Under sections 80A–80E of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 (PAL Regs 2002), SI 2002/2788, employees are entitled to paternity leave and statutory paternity pay (SPP) in certain circumstances relating to the birth or placement for adoption of a child or children. Paternity leave can be either one whole week or two consecutive whole weeks. It cannot be broken up into odd days.

Paternity leave is available to fathers or, broadly speaking, the partners of the mother or primary adopter. Note that the employee taking paternity leave can