Q&As

What are the eligibility requirements for statutory paternity leave and statutory paternity pay (SPP) in relation to casual workers? If a casual worker is entitled to SPP but not statutory paternity leave, in what circumstances would the worker be able to claim SPP?

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Published on LexisPSL on 25/03/2021

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What are the eligibility requirements for statutory paternity leave and statutory paternity pay (SPP) in relation to casual workers? If a casual worker is entitled to SPP but not statutory paternity leave, in what circumstances would the worker be able to claim SPP?
  • Eligibility for statutory paternity leave
  • Eligibility for statutory paternity pay
  • Where the employee is not entitled to statutory paternity leave

What are the eligibility requirements for statutory paternity leave and statutory paternity pay (SPP) in relation to casual workers? If a casual worker is entitled to SPP but not statutory paternity leave, in what circumstances would the worker be able to claim SPP?

The term ‘casual worker’ is not defined in employment law. It is usually taken to mean someone engaged on a casual, as required, ad hoc basis, to meet an employer’s fluctuating, short-term staffing needs. Some employers recruit individuals for casual work on what are known as ‘zero hours’ contracts.

Eligibility for statutory paternity leave

The right to statutory paternity leave on birth and adoption is set out in:

  1. sections 80A–80E of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), and

  2. the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 (PAL Regs 2002), SI 2002/2788

In order to be eligible for statutory paternity leave, an individual must be an ‘employee’.

For these purposes, ‘employee’ means an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment. This is the same as the definition of ‘employee’ set out in ERA 1996, s 230(1).

For further information, see Practice Notes:

  1. Paternity leave and pay, in particular section: Entitlement to take paternity leave

  2. Employee status, in particular section: Statutory definitions of ‘employee’

(In determining whether an individual has employee status:

  1. it is not a mechanical

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