What are your paternity leave rights?

11 June 2019
Just like new mums, their partners have a variety of rights in the workplace when expecting a new baby.
Image blog size
Just like new mums, their partners have a variety of rights in the workplace when expecting a new baby. Most partners want to spend time sharing all those baby-related jobs, and of course, building a relationship with their baby.

Paternity leave entitles you to paid leave after your partner or spouse gives birth, adoption or a baby by a surrogate. This gives you one-two weeks of paid leave, allowing you to look after the baby upon their arrival. 

Most agency and contract workers have different rules for entitlement, due to the hours worked.

Statutory Paternity Leave 

The entitlement is for up to two weeks of leave. It must be taken as either one or two consecutive weeks of leave. It must also have been taken within 56 days after the birth (or due date if the baby is early). If you are adopting, the start dates will be different. 

Are you eligible?

In the UK, you are eligible for paternity leave if:

  • The time off is spent to look after your child.

  • If you’re either the father of the child, the adopter, the husband or partner of the mother or the intended parent to the child (if you’re having a baby by surrogate).

  • Have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. Ensure that you give your employer the correct amount of notice.  

Statutory Paternity Pay

The statutory pay for eligible employees in 2018/2019 (the rate usually changes on 1st April) is either £148.68 a week or 90% of their average weekly earnings.

You must earn at least £113 a week before tax, to qualify for statutory pay. It's paid the same way as your wages, and Tax and National Insurance will be deducted. 

Why take Paternity leave?

Paternity leave gives father's/partners the chance to support the mother in the first couple of weeks to establish a relationship with the baby. According to research, 90% of UK father’s who take paternity leave, show a multitude of benefits it brings to the family. 

If you think your employer is being unfair in regards to your paternity leave, get in touch with our specialist employment solicitors. Call us on 01206 576 151 or email us.