Are you up to date with the latest on paternity rights? Parental leave rights are always evolving it is a good idea to make sure your Working Families Policies are up to date. This will help you to prepare your business and to be able to give your employee the advice he needs when the happy time arrives and he announces he is going to be a dad.
What most of us know about paternity leave is that a father-to-be is entitled to paid Ordinary Paternity Leave of 1 to 2 weeks. But did you know that as of 5 April 2015 the Additional Paternity Leave - where a mother can choose to transfer up to 26 weeks paid Additional Leave to the father – will change to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Pay?
Shared Parental Leave means that the mother and father, or co-adopters, can share the time they spend at home with their child. If the mother wants to return to work after her mandatory maternity leave period, she can be happy in the knowledge that her baby is at home with the father. This is an example from the gov.uk website:
A mother and her partner are both eligible for SPL. The mother ends her maternity leave after 12 weeks, leaving 40 weeks (of the total 52 week entitlement) available for SPL. She takes 30 weeks and her partner takes the other 10 weeks.
Likewise, men who are adopting a child can claim this paid Shared Parental Leave if the co-adopter decides to return to work before he/she has used up the 52 weeks he/she is entitled to.
This leave can even be separated out into blocks of work and leave which may help the employee getting back into work and help you to manage your workload.
All the father’s rights remain the same when he is on paternity leave. This means that any rights to pay rises, holiday accruing and returning to work are protected. The father is also entitled to time off to attend 2 antenatal appointments.
Who can claim paternity leave?
If a soon-to-be father has been working for you continuously for 26 weeks before he gives you notice of paternity leave, and is employed with you up until the date of the baby’s birth, he would be entitled to claim paid paternity leave. He must be either the father of the child, the child’s adopter or the husband or partner of the mother or adopter.
He must give you notice at least 15 weeks before the week when the baby is expected and you can request this notice in writing.
Who can claim paternity pay?
As with claiming Paternity Leave, the father-to-be must have been employed with you for 26 weeks before giving you notice of paternity leave, and must give you the correct notice and apply in writing for Paternity Pay. He needs to earn at least £111 per week before tax to claim Ordinary Paternity Pay.
To find out more about paternity rights and keep up to date with the latest regulations see: https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave/overview