Paternity Leave Explained

As you start to plan for the arrival of your little one it is important that both you and your partner know what you are entitled to. In this blog we focus on paternity leave and what you and your partner needs to know, or even what you need to know if you’re reading this as a partner-to-be!

Who is entitled to paternity leave?
If you are an employee and your partner is expecting a baby then you may be entitled to one or two weeks of paid paternity leave, but you must be one of the following:
- Baby’s biological father
- Baby’s adopter or intended father (if using a surrogate)
- Baby’s mother’s husband or partner (including same-sex partners)

You must also have been working for your employer for at least 26 continuous weeks by either:
- The end of the 15th week before the week of the due date
- The end of the week that you are told you’ve been matched with your child for adoption (UK adoptions).

You must also earn at least £116 a week before tax and continue to work for your employer until your baby is born or placed with you if you are adopting.

Unfortunately, under the current guidelines, most agency and contract workers aren’t eligible.

How much will you get paid?
The rate of Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay is the lowest of:
- £145.18 per week
- 90% of your average weekly earnings

It is paid by your employer who will deduct tax and National Insurance contributions in the normal way before paying you.

How do you claim Statutory Paternity Leave?
To ensure you receive what you are entitled to, you must tell your employer that you’re going on paternity leave and request paternity pay at least 15 weeks before your baby’s due date. For details on adoption visit gov.uk .

When can you start Paternity Leave?
Leave starts from the day your baby is born (and not before) and it must end within 56 days after the birth. You don’t have to give a specific date but a general idea of when you wish to take leave, most give the due date or a week after to their work. You must take your leave in one go whether that is 1 or 2 weeks, a week is the same number of days you would normally work in a week. If you are expecting twins or more, then you are only entitled to the same leave as those expecting one baby.

Shared Parental Leave
It is now possible for you and your partner to share paternity leave if you are having a baby or adopting a baby. You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you. This leave needs to be taken in the first year after your baby is born or child placed with your family.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) can be taken in blocks separated by periods of work, or all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or stagger the leave and pay. For more information on SPL and to see if you are eligible visit www.gov.uk.

If you would like more information, then visit the government website www.gov.uk for the most up to date information and if you have any questions then speak to your HR department or line manager.

How long is your partner planning on taking off when baby arrives and are you considering Shared Parental Leave? Post your comments on our blog here or our Facebook Page.

And don’t forget to sign up for FREE on www.mumandbabyonline.co.uk and be the first to receive latest support tips, news and offers from our partners! Already a member? Then please share with your friends. Being pregnant and having a young family is amazing, let us be part of your journey.

Note: whilst we welcome feedback on this blog, we will not tolerate any abuse or misuse. Please respect the views and feelings of others. The content and advice offered is based on general recommendations and health-care professional suggestions and is designed to be used as a guide and discussion piece. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health-care / medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care professional.

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