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Ordinary paternity leave and shared parental leave


  • Fathers are entitled to two weeks basic paternity leave.
  • Must be taken within the first 56 days following the birth.
  • Regulation 4 – Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2014 says employees cannot take ordinary paternity leave if a period of SPL has already been taken.
  • Employees can choose to take both ordinary paternity leave and SPL, but the period of ordinary paternity leave must come first.

Shared parental leave applies to babies due on or after 5 April 2015 and children placed for adoption on or after that date (including surrogacy). Eligible employees will still be able to take one or two weeks’ ordinary paternity leave within the first 56 days following the child’s birth. Regulation 4 of the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2014 provides that an employee cannot take ordinary paternity leave if he or she has already taken a period of shared parental leave in relation to the same child. This means that you can choose to take both ordinary paternity leave and shared parental leave, but the period of ordinary paternity leave must come first.


Updated: 04/03/2020

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