Paternity leave

Mum and dad having fun

Will I be entitled to take paternity leave?

If, 15 weeks before the week your baby is due, you have been working for your current employer for 26 continuous weeks – then yes, you will be entitled to paternity leave. You also need to be the biological father or the mother's husband or partner and intend to be involved in the responsibility of bringing your child up, in order to qualify.

How much paternity leave can I take?

You should be able to take either 1 or 2 weeks off after the birth. Whichever you choose, the time has to be taken in one go rather than a few days here and there, and must be completed within 56 days of the birth. You can change your mind about the dates as long as you give your employer 28 days' notice (unless that's totally impossible).

How do I arrange paternity leave?

Ideally you should be looking to book the time in when your partner is about 25 weeks pregnant, to give your employer as much notice as possible. It's tricky to be sure exactly when your baby will decide to arrive, so it's especially good news if you have a flexible job and employer – fortunately lots of them are!

What Statutory Paternity Pay am I entitled to?

Providing you meet the above conditions and you earn on average £90 or more (before tax) per week, you should be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) during your time off. SPP is £117.18 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is lower. If you're not on a high enough wage to qualify for SPP then there should be some other funds (such as Income Support) that you could apply for. Again, your employer or your local Job Centre should be able to advise you.

How do I claim paternity pay?

Your employer will pay Statutory Paternity Pay to you in the same way and at the same time as your normal wages. SPP is treated as normal pay, so they'll also deduct tax and National Insurance.

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