Additional paternity leave
Since April 2011, new fathers could potentially be entitled to up to 26 weeks’ Additional Paternity Leave or Additional Statutory Paternity Pay, or both, if they meet the necessary requirements. This is on top of their entitlement to Ordinary Paternity Leave.
Ordinary Paternity Leave
If you meet the requirements for Ordinary Paternity Leave and qualify for Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay, you will be entitled to up to two consecutive weeks off work at a rate of £124.88 (£128.73 as of April 2011) or 90% of your average weekly earnings, if that is less. Your Ordinary Paternity Leave must finish within 56 days of the baby’s birth.
Additional Paternity Leave
On top of Ordinary Paternity Leave, from 3rd April 2011 you may qualify for Additional Paternity Leave and Pay for a maximum of 26 weeks if you meet certain requirements. In order to qualify you must be:
- the father of a child due on or after 3rd April 2011;
- the husband, partner or civil partner of someone who is pregnant and due to give birth on or after 3rd April 2011;
- notified that you and your partner have been matched with a child for adoption on or after 3rd April 2011; or
- the husband, civil partner or partner of someone who is adopting a child from overseas and the child is entering the UK on or after 3rd April 2011.
In addition, you must be an employee who has been with your employer for at least 26 weeks by the qualifying week, which varies depending on your situation. For further information on this, you should speak to your employer or seek legal advice.
Other important requirements for qualification are:
- you must be seeking to take Additional Paternity Leave in order to care for the child;
- the child’s mother or adopter must have been entitled to Statutory Maternity Leave, Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay; and
- the child’s mother or adopter must have returned to work, causing any relevant maternity pay to cease.
Provided that your partner has returned to work, you can take Additional Paternity Leave between 20 weeks and 1 year after the child is born or placed in adoption.
Additional Paternity Leave Pay
You may qualify for Additional Paternity Leave Pay if:
- you are an employed earner;
- any relevant payment to the mother or adopter of the child with respect to their maternity leave must have stopped on the basis that they have started working again, and at least two weeks out of her 39-week Statutory Maternity Pay period must be remaining;
- you will be taking Additional Paternity Leave for the purpose of caring for the child.
It is important to note that you can only receive Additional Paternity Leave Pay during your partner’s 39-week Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity or Statutory Adoption Pay period. If you take Additional Paternity Leave after this period is up (which is possible) then you will not receive any Additional Paternity Leave Pay during this time.
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