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Are you ready for the changes to paternity pay and leave?

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24 February 2011

From 3 April 2011 fathers will be able to take up to 26 weeks’ paternity leave in addition to the current two weeks Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay. Additional Paternity Leave can only be taken within the first year of the child’s life or the first year after the child’s placement for adoption.  Couples whose babies are due or matched after this date will be able to transfer maternity leave over to the other parent after 20 weeks from the date of the birth or placement of the child.

What is the qualifying criteria for Additional Paternity Leave?

  • be the father of the baby and/or the husband or partner of a woman who is due to give birth on or after 3 April 2011 - a partner is someone who lives with the mother of the baby in an enduring family relationship but not an immediate relative or they are married to or the partner or civil partner of the child's co-adopter (the co-adopter is the adopter who has chosen to take adoption leave)
  • have, or expect to have, the main responsibility for the baby's upbringing, apart from any responsibility of the mother
  • have at least 26 weeks' continuous employment with you ending with the qualifying week - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
  • continue to work for you from the qualifying week into the week before they wish to take additional paternity leave - weeks run Sunday to Saturday
  • be taking the time off to care for the baby

How much are employees entitled to?
Providing the employee satisfies the qualifying criteria, employees can expect to receive up to 13 weeks of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay at the lower of £128.73 per week or 90% average weekly earnings.  Additional Paternity Leave is available to women as well as men, for example in the case of same-sex relationships or where the adoptive father is the primary adopter.

A mother and father cannot take maternity leave and additional paternity leave at the same time and two adoptive parents also cannot take adoption leave and additional paternity leave at the same time.   

What do I need to do?
Many employers will need to update their paternity policies in readiness for the change.  In the same way that mothers currently benefit from any non-cash benefits set out in their terms of employment, employee’s that choose to take ASPP will also be entitled to benefits such as company care or child care vouchers.

What next
For further information, please contact Roy Thorogood on 01452 634800 or roy.thorogood@hazlewoods.co.uk.