Paternity Leave in the UK: A Guide for Employers

Employees who are new parents often need time to care for the child and celebrate the birth. Most countries offer maternity leave and/or pay for the new mother, but paternity leave for fathers is not as common.

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If you have employees in the UK, paternity leave and pay is a statutory entitlement for fathers with a new child, so you will want to understand eligibility, leave periods and pay limits.  This guide will outline the basic rules to get you started on meeting the leave entitlements for your employees.

Who is eligible to take paternity leave in the UK?

While the UK does have a progressive paternity leave policy, there are a few eligibility requirements.  The natural father is eligible as is the husband or partner of the mother, which includes same-sex partners.  Adopting fathers and those with a surrogate mother are also eligible.

Other eligibility criteria include being currently employed for a minimum of 26 weeks prior to the 15th week prior to the due date, and earnings of at least GPB 120 per week.  If qualified, the employee must give notice to the employer 15 weeks before the baby’s due date.

What are the paternity leave entitlements in the UK?

Statutory paternity leave is either... read more 

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Tim Burgess

Director, Shield GEO Services Ltd