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Paternity leave and pay

Overview
The right to take up to two weeks' ordinary paternity leave and pay is available to eligible employees around the time of the birth or adoption of a child.
 
Until April 2016, those eligible to take ordinary paternity leave whose babies were due before 5 April 2015 were also able to take a period of additional paternity leave once their partner returned to work. Shared parental leave, which can be taken in a more flexible way, has now replaced additional paternity leave for those employees with babies born/children matched for adoption after that date.

Key points

  • Eligible employees are entitled to one or two consecutive weeks' ordinary paternity leave and pay, paid at £140.98 per week from 2 April 2017, on the birth or adoption of a child or within up to 56 days' of the birth or adoption.
  • Employees, and qualifying agency workers, are entitled to take unpaid time off to accompany their pregnant partner to up to two ante-natal appointments.
  • Eligible employees may be able to take periods of shared parental leave (and possibly pay) which must be taken within a year of the child's birth or adoption.
  • Employees will lose the right to ordinary paternity leave if they take a period of shared parental leave in relation to the child first.

Future developments

Increase to paternity pay from April 2018

A Department for Work and Pensions Policy Paper has outlined the proposed new rate for statutory paternity pay (SPP) from April 2018. The statutory rate of SPP is proposed to increase from £140.98 to £145.18 per week.