This guidance provides helpful information regarding your paternity entitlements, and what you need to do. Paternity leave is part of a package of rights and benefits designed to give support to working fathers and mothers and their partners.
This guide does not affect your terms and conditions of employment which take precedence. If, after reading it, you have any questions that remain unanswered, please contact your HR Advisor at the Office of Human Resources.
The information in this guide complies with the Employment Act 2006 and the Paternity Leave Regulations 2007. Some of the rights are also underpinned by the Employment (Sex Discrimination) Act 2000.
Paternity Leave Under the terms of the Employment Act 2006, you may be entitled to 2 weeks unpaid leave after your baby is born.
Expecting more than one baby
If more than one baby is born as a result of the same pregnancy, only 1 period of Paternity leave can be taken.
You will qualify for Paternity leave provided you have been employed continuously for the same employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due and from the 15th week before the baby is due up to the date of birth.
- You can take paternity leave of either 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks.
- You cannot take paternity leave as odd days or as two separate weeks.
You must be taking this time off either to support your partner or to care for your new baby. Paternity leave cannot be taken for any other purpose.
A partner is someone who lives with the mother of the baby in an enduring family relationship but is not an immediate relative. ‘Partner’ may include a female partner in a same-sex couple.
How to notify
Inform you manager
To claim Paternity leave you must inform your line manager no later than the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth.
If you are employed under PSC Civil Service or PSC Manual and Craft Workers terms and conditions, you must complete the Form to apply for Paternity leave at the same time.
Information to provide to manager
To claim Paternity leave you need to tell your line manager:
- the expected week of your baby’s birth
- whether you wish to take one or two weeks’ leave
- when you would like to start your leave
Your line manager will:
- Retain a copy
- Send a copy to the Central Administration Team
- Send a copy to the OHR Business Partner Team and
- Discuss and agree arrangements for leave
You have no right in law to be paid by your employer while you are on Paternity leave. However, your employer has certain contractual arrangements in place that are linked to the terms and conditions of your employment. You may also be able to claim a Paternity Allowance.
The pay that you receive while you are on Paternity leave is dependent on your terms and conditions and, in some instances, how long you have worked for your employer.
You have the right to take 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks Paternity leave
You will be eligible for a maximum of 5 days paid paternity leave in any 2 year period
You must advise your manager that you intend to take paternity leave by the end of the 15th week before the week the baby is due (or as soon as reasonably practicable) on Paternity leave form
You have the right to take 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks Paternity leave
If you have been employed continuously for the same employer for 26 weeks ending with the 14th week before the baby is due and from the 14th week before the baby is due up to the date of the birth, you will be eligible for a maximum of 2 days paid paternity leave
Leave and pay
If you work full time or part time, you will be entitled to 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave if you have 12 months’ continuous service at the beginning of the week the baby is due
- Those with less service will be entitled to a maximum of 2 days paid leave and a further 8 days unpaid leave
To apply for Paternity leave complete an Application for Special Leave form at least 28 days before you want your leave to start
Social Security has responsibility for administering Paternity Allowances.
Paternity Allowance is based on earnings. Those who meet the qualifying conditions, based on their recent employment and earnings record, may claim Paternity Allowance from the Social Security Division of The Treasury for up to 2 weeks.
This Allowance is payable whether or not you are entitled to paternity pay under your contract of employment. You can claim Paternity Allowance through the General Benefits Section at Markwell House. The claim should be made on or after the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth and must be accompanied by the paternity claim form (PA1).
Where Paternity Allowance is granted during the period of full pay, the allowance will be deducted from pay. PSC Civil Servants who have completed the ‘Option to Draw Unabated Sick/Maternity/Paternity Pay’ form will be paid their full salary during periods of paid paternity leave as they have agreed not to receive paternity allowance in that option.
The meaning of ‘expected week of childbirth’
- ‘expected week of childbirth’ means the week, beginning with midnight between Saturday and Sunday, in which it is expected that the baby will be born (also referred to as the ‘week the baby is due’)
Annual leave entitlement
Periods of paternity leave do not affect entitlement to holiday. If you normally accrue annual leave, you will continue to accrue annual leave in accordance with your contract throughout the Paternity leave period.
You can add your annual leave to your Paternity leave, either at the start or at the end of your period of Paternity leave.
Attending antenatal appointments
You are not entitled to time off to accompany your partner to antenatal appointments. However, as good practice, your employers may allow you to attend some or all of the appointments. You may need to take this time as annual or flexi leave.
MPTC employees - Reasonable time off will be given to attend antenatal appointments.
When to start paternity leave
Your leave can start on any day of the week, provided you have given the required notice.
For PSC Civil Servants:
- leave must be taken during the period beginning no earlier than 1 month before the expected date of childbirth
For PSC Manual and Craft Workers and MPTC Staff leave cannot start until the birth of the baby. You can choose when to start your leave:
- On the date of your baby’s birth (whether earlier or later than expected)
- On a date falling a specific number of days after the date of childbirth (whether earlier or later than expected) as notified by you to your line manager but no later than 56 days
- On a fixed date, chosen by you (which falls after the first day of the expected week of childbirth) and notified to your line manager but no later than 56 days after the birth of your baby
Period for paternity leave
You can change the date that you want to start your leave (but not the length of time you are taking) as long as you give your line manager at least 28 days’ notice or, if this is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable. You will need to complete a new paternity leave application form.
If baby is born earlier than expected
If your baby is born earlier than the 14th week before it is due and, but for the birth occurring early, you would have been employed continuously for the 26 weeks, then you would be deemed to have the necessary length of service to qualify for paternity leave.
If your baby is born early you may not be able to give your manager the required notice of leave. However you should give your manager an – (unfinished sentence in guide)
If baby is not born by notified leave date
If you are employed under PSC Manual & Craft or MPTC Terms, you cannot take paternity leave before the birth of your baby. You will need to change the date or choose to take leave from the actual date of birth or a specified number of days after the birth and submit an updated form as soon as possible, but no later than 56 days after the birth.
If something happens to your baby
If, in the tragic event that your baby is stillborn or dies following birth, you will still be entitled to Paternity leave as long as your partner was more than 24 weeks’ pregnant when your baby was born.
Adopting a baby
There are set provisions in the PSC Civil Service Regulations, PSC Manual and Craft Workers Agreement and the MPTC for adoption leave.
If you are a member of a pension scheme, pension contributions will continue to be deducted from your pay during the period of paid Paternity leave in the normal way.
- your contributions will be based on the amount of paternity pay you receive
- unpaid paternity leave is not counted as pensionable service
Illness at the end of paternity leave
You should follow your normal procedure for sickness absence and notify your line manager as soon as possible.
Contacts and resources
Your HR advisor
+44 1624 687027
MEDS (Out of hours GP)
Telephone your surgery as normal
Accident and Emergency, Noble’s
+44 1624 650040
Jane Crookall Maternity Unit, Noble’s
+44 1624 650030
Neonatal Unit, Noble’s
+44 1624 650035
Incapacity Benefits (Paternity Allowance)
+44 1624 685108
+44 1624 685598