F116 – Paternity
The right to paternity leave allows an eligible officer, who provides the required notice, to take 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks leave to care for the baby/child or to support the mother/adopter following birth (paternity leave cannot be taken for any other purpose), with a maximum of 5 days paid leave in any period of 2 years.
The masculine pronoun has been used throughout this section of the Regulations, but all the Regulations apply equally to both eligible male and female officers.
F117 – Who is eligible?
An officer is eligible for paternity leave if he has or expects to have responsibility for the baby’s/child’s upbringing and is the biological father of the baby, and/or the husband or partner of the mother/adopter.
Paternity leave must be taken in order to care for the new baby/child or support the mother/adopter of the baby/child.
The pronoun ‘he’ is used for birth parents as an officer claiming paternity leave will usually be a man, however, a woman living with the mother in a same-sex relationship may qualify for paternity leave. Also in the case of a couple who are adopting jointly, the couple can decide who will take Adoption Leave and who will take Paternity Leave.
F118 – Notice periods
An officer must advise his line manager that he intends to take paternity leave:
- by the end of the 15th week before the week the baby is due (if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable) or
- within 7 days of the date on which the adopter is notified of being matched with the child (or as soon as reasonably practicable)
Providing the following information:
i) in the case of birth parents:
- the expected week of the baby’s birth
- whether he wishes to take one or two week’s leave
ii) in the case of adopters:
- The date on which the adopter was notified of having been matched with the child
- The expected week of the child’s placement
- Whether he wishes to take one or two week’s leave
- When he wants to start his leave, giving at least 28 days notice of the start date (or, if not practicable, as soon as reasonably practicable)
- Retain a copy
- Send a copy to the appropriate pay section
- Send a copy to the Public Sector Pensions Authority
- Send a copy to the department’s HR Section (if applicable)
- Send the original to the Office of Human Resources for retention on the officer’s personal file
An officer who wishes to change the start date of leave must give at least 28 days notice to his line manager (or as soon as reasonably practicable).
F119 – Paternity leave
An officer eligible for paternity leave can choose to take paternity leave of either one week or 2 consecutive weeks. Leave cannot be taken as odd days or as 2 separate weeks.
If more than one baby is born as a result of the same pregnancy, or more than one child is placed for adoption as part of the same arrangement, only one period of leave can be taken.
F120 – Timing of paternity leave
Leave can start on any day of the week and must be taken during the period commencing no earlier than 1 month before the expected date of childbirth/placement and no later than 12 months immediately following the date of the birth/placement.
F121 – Paternity pay
An officer who is entitled to paternity leave will also be entitled to paternity pay of a maximum of 5 days pay in any period of 2 years.
Officers may be eligible to claim paternity allowance from Social Security. Where this is granted during the period of full pay, the allowance will be deducted from pay. No deduction will be made if the officer is not eligible to claim paternity allowance.
Officers who have completed the ‘Option to Draw Unabated Sick/Maternity/Paternity Pay’ form at Annex E2, to these Regulations, will be paid their full salary during periods of paid paternity leave as they have agreed not to receive paternity allowance in that option.
F122 – Still birth or death of a baby
In the unfortunate event of still birth or the death of a baby shortly after birth, the officer eligible for paternity leave will be entitled to such leave if the baby is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
If the baby is born alive at any point in the pregnancy but dies later, the officer will be entitled to paternity leave in the usual way.
F123 – Disruption of placement during adoption leave
If the adopter is told, before paternity leave has started, that the placement will not be made, the employee will not be able to take paternity leave. If the child is placed and then dies or is returned to the adoption agency, the employee will be entitled to paternity leave as planned.
F124 – Superannuation
Paid paternity leave is reckonable service for superannuation purposes – contributions will continue to be deducted from contractual remuneration or statutory paternity pay actually paid to or for the officer during paid paternity leave.
Note: Regulations F125 and F126 are blank.