As Father’s Day approaches, it is a great time for employers to ensure they clearly understand their responsibilities regarding Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave.

Employees may be eligible for Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay if they and their partner are:

  • Having a baby
  • Adopting a child
  • Having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement.

Statutory Paternity Leave

Employees can take either one week or two straight weeks’ leave, however, it cannot start before the child is born.

The start date must be one of the following:

  • The actual date of birth
  • An agreed number of days after the birth
  • An agreed number of days after the expected week of childbirth.

The leave must come to an end within 56 days of the birth, or due date if the baby is early.

However, the start and end dates are different if the employee is adopting. Find out more here.

Statutory Paternity Pay

For those eligible, Statutory Paternity Pay is £156.66 a week or 90 per cent of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Tax and National Insurance also need to be deducted.

An employee’s paternity leave and pay can be calculated using the Maternity, Adoption and paternity calculator for employers.

It is important for employers to ensure that paternity leave and pay policies are clearly outlined and easily accessible to their staff.

Leave for antenatal appointments

Employees can take unpaid leave to attend antenatal appointments if they are:

  • The baby’s father
  • The expectant mother’s spouse or civil partner
  • In a long-term relationship with the expectant mother
  • The intended parent (if they’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement).

They can accompany the woman to two appointments, both of which last up to six and a half hours each.

Please also note than a worker’s employment rights such as the right to pay, holidays and returning to a job, are safeguarded during paternity leave.

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