Ordinary Paternity Leave & Pay
New fathers may be entitled to two weeks' Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). In order to qualify the employee must have been in continuous employment (with the same employer) for at least 26 weeks prior to the 'notification week' (NW). The 'notification week' is 15 weeks before the baby's due date. In addition, the father must also be earning an average of at least the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) per week. Please refer to the Rates and Thresholds page for up-to-date information about the Lower Earnings Limit.
Paternity leave must be taken within a period of 56 days over consecutive weeks, beginning with the date on which the child is born, or, in the case of adoption, on the date on which adoption is approved. SPP is paid either at the statutory rate or 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings, whichever is the lowest. For the current rate of SPP, please refer to the Rates and Thresholds page. If the employee qualifies for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) it is their employer's legal obligation to pay it.
Additional Paternity Leave
Fathers of babies due on or after 3rd April 2011 could be entitled to take up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, on top of their entitlement to up to 2 weeks Ordinary Paternity Leave and Pay.
Additional Paternity Leave can be taken for a maximum of 26 weeks, between 20 weeks and one year after the child is born or placed for adoption.
To qualify for Additional Paternity Leave:
- the father must be an employee and have been employed for at least 26 weeks by either:
- the end of the 15th week before the start of week when the baby is due (also known as the Notification Week) or,
- the end of the week in which the father is notified that he has been matched with a child for adoption, and
- the father must be either:
- the biological father of the child, or
- the mother’s husband or partner (including same-sex partnerships), or
- the husband or partner (including same-sex partnerships) of the child’s adopter, and
Additional Paternity Pay
- the father must be taking leave to care for the child, and
- the mother must have been entitled to receive either Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay and:
- must have returned to work and
- ceased claiming any relevant SMP, MA or SAP
In order to qualify for Additional SPP the father must be employed, earning at least the Lower Earnings Limit (see the Rates and Thresholds page) and his employer must be paying employer's NI contributions on his behalf. The father must also meet the criteria as above for Additional Paternity Leave, and the mother must have returned to work with at least 2 weeks of the Maternity or Adoption pay period remaining.
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is only payable to the father during the period of the mother's 39 week Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity or Statutory Adoption Pay period.