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Paternity leave changes – the facts

2 Mins

As the new paternity leave rules come into effect today, what are the essential facts you need to know? What are the changes to paternity leave rules and how will they affect your business?

Around 700,000 babies are born every year in the UK, the majority of whom are to working parents. So changes to paternity leave rules will have an impact on your business.

What do you need to know?

The short version

Under new paternity leave rules, men will be allowed to take up to six months off if their partner has returned to work.

The long version

If only things were simple. With paternity leave rules, they really aren’t.

Additional paternity leave is available to fathers for a maximum of 26 weeks, in addition to two weeks of ordinary statutory paternity leave.

An important rule is that fathers are only entitled to receive additional paternity pay during their partner’s statutory 39-week maternity period. But paternity leave can be taken between 20 weeks and one year after the child is born.

Fathers must take the time off to care for the child, and the child’s mother must have been entitled to maternity leave/pay and has returned to work and ceased claiming any relevant pay.

The current rate of additional statutory paternity pay is now £128.73 per week or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings, if that’s less.

Fathers can only take additional paternity leave if they are employees.

To qualify for additional paternity leave, they must have been working for your business for at least 26 weeks by the qualifying week (which is either the 15th week before the baby is due; the end of the week when fathers are notified they have been matched with an adopted child; or, when adopting from overseas, the date a child enters the UK for the purposes of adoption).

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