Search

How can we help?

Icon

FAQs on the long awaited amendments to Statutory Paternity Leave

This April has seen a wave of new family friendly rights come into force. Amongst these, is the long awaited amendments to Statutory Paternity Leave. Whilst some argue that this leave still has a long way to go, the changes certainly offer more flexibility for new parents.

The changes can be a bit confusing at first glance, so to help get to grips with them and what they mean for you or your organisation, we’ve set out the below easy guide.

Who can take Paternity Leave?

To be eligible for statutory paternity leave you must be:

  • An Employee
  • Be continuously employed for 26 weeks ending 15 weeks before the expected due date or placement date for adoption
  • Have, or expect to have responsibility for the child
  • Be the biological father of the child, or be married to or the partner of the mother or adopter of the child

How much leave do you get?

You can get up to two weeks statutory Paternity Leave. The purpose of the leave must be to care for the child.

Does this need to be taken all together?

No. Under the old law you used to have to take all Paternity leave in one continuous block. Now, employees have a choice. The leave can be taken:

  • In one block of two weeks
  • Or in separate blocks of one week each

When can the leave be taken?

The leave can now be taken at any time within 52 weeks after the child’s birth or placement. This is a big change from the previous 56 days that parents used to have to take paternity leave.

This means that it is available for the year after estimated week of childbirth, or actual birth/placement (whichever is later).

Paternity leave still cannot start before the actual birth or placement, but can start on any day after the birth/placement, provided the correct notice has been given.

Lucy Densham Brown

Solicitor

View profile

+44 118 960 4655

Paternity leave still cannot start before the actual birth or placement, but can start on any day after the birth/placement, provided the correct notice has been given.

What notice is required?

This is another slight change that has come in with the new law. Now, employees must give notice of their intention to take paternity leave by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, or within 7 days of the agency confirming the placement date for adoption. They do not however have to set out at that stage when they would like the leave to start or the duration.

Instead, employees have to give written notice of this at least 28 before the date they want to take leave, for each block of leave the intend to take.

We recommend that employers update their paternity leave policies to ensure that these big changes are captured. If you would like assistance with this, and with updating polices for all the new changes for April 2024, please get in touch.

We’ve not had time to dive into the other rights and regulations surrounding paternity leave, so if you need more specific advice, please do reach out to our Employment Law team who would be happy to help.

 

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Lucy Densham Brown

Solicitor

View profile

+44 118 960 4655

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

art
  • 10 May 2024
  • Employment

New duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment – coming October 2024

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 is due to come into force in October 2024.

art
  • 09 May 2024
  • Employment

Labour Party Employment Law Proposals – Promises of further consultations and a softer approach

The Prime Minister recently announced a raft of changes, to be implemented in the next parliament, aimed at reducing the number of people who are economically inactive due to illness.

art
  • 07 May 2024
  • Employment

Changes to TUPE rules from 1 July 2024

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (‘TUPE’) aim to safeguard employees’ rights on the transfer of a business or on the change of a service.

art
  • 26 April 2024
  • Employment

Prime Minister Proposes Changes to Fit Notes

The Prime Minister recently announced a raft of changes, to be implemented in the next parliament, aimed at reducing the number of people who are economically inactive due to illness.

art
  • 26 April 2024
  • Employment

Amanda Glover comments on ‘flexible contracts’ for HR Magazine

In HR magazine, Amanda Glover, Associate at Clarkslegal comments on why some workers voluntarily opt for flexible contracts while others are given no choice.

art
  • 19 April 2024
  • Employment

Amanda Glover comments on ‘Employment law isn’t working for anyone’ for HR Magazine

In HR magazine, Amanda Glover, Associate at Clarkslegal responds to the recent article titled ‘Employment law isn’t working for anyone’ by Libby Purves in The Times last week.