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Paternity leave and pay


Ordinary Paternity leave (OPL) and Pay

To be eligible for ordinary paternity leave, a man must be;

  • an employee
  • continuously employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (Known as the qualifying week).
  • taking the time off specifically to look after the child
  • the father, husband or partner of the mother or an adoptive parent.
  • earn at least £111 a week (before tax)
  • give the correct notice
    The qualifying week is different if you adopt

Additional Paternity Leave (APL) and Pay

For fathers of  babies which were due before 5 April 2015 (or placed for adoption before that date), the fathers may qualify for additional paternity leave (APL).  The child’s mother or adoptive parent must have qualified for one of these:

  • Statutory Maternity Leave or Pay
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay

They must have returned to work and no longer be getting any of the above.

You must:

  • have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)
  • still be employed by your employer the week (Saturday to Sunday) before your leave or pay starts
  • earn on average at least £111 a week (before tax)
  • confirm the start and end dates of your partner’s leave
  • confirm your partner has at least 2 weeks left of their maternity or adoption pay (Additional Statutory Paternity Pay only)
  • give the correct notice

You’ll only be able to take Additional Paternity Leave before 4 April 2015. You may be eligible for Shared Parental Leave and Pay if your baby is due on or after 5 April 2015.

The ‘qualifying week’ is different if you adopt.


Shared parental leave (SPL)

For parents whose babies are due on or after 5 April 2015 only (and to those having children placed for adoption on or after that date), additional paternity leave and pay will be abolished and shared parental leave (SPL) will apply instead. This applies to parents whose babies are due on or after 5 April 2015 (and to children matched with a person or placed for adoption on or after that date).

If you lose your baby

You can still get paternity leave or pay if your baby is:

  • stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • born alive at any point during the pregnancy

If you’re not eligible

Your employer must tell you within 28 days if you don’t qualify and why using form OSPP1 (or ASPP1 if you’ve applied for additional paternity leave or pay).

Source: GOV.UK


The Law

The Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2788)
The Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Administration) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2820)
The Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Weekly Rates) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2818)
The Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (General) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2822)
The Social Security (Paternity and Adoption) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2689)
The Statutory Maternity Pay (Compensation of Employers) Amendment Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/225)
The Statutory Maternity Pay (Compensation of Employers) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/672)
The Paternity and Adoption Leave (Adoption from Overseas) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/921)
The Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/488)
The Pensions Act 2004 s.265
The Civil Partnership Act 2004
The Civil Partnership Act (Amendments to Subordinate Legislation) Order 2005 (SI 2005/2114)
Work and Families Act 2006
The Maternity Leave and Parental Leave etc and the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/2014)
The Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (General) and the Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Weekly Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/2236)
The Statutory Maternity Pay, Social Security (Overlapping Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/2379)
The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. and the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2008(SI 2008/1966)
The Social Security Benefits Uprating Order 2009 (SI 2009/497)
The Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (General) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/156)
The Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/155)
The Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (Adoptions from Overseas) Regulations 2010 – due to come into force on 9 April 2010
The Additional Paternity Leave (Adoptions from Overseas) Regulations 2010 – due to come into force on 9 April 2010
The Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (Weekly Rates) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1060)
The Employment Rights Act 1996(Application of Section 80BB to Adoptions from Overseas) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1058)
Children and Families Act 2014
Shared Parental Pay (General) Regulations 2014
Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014
Maternity and Adoption Leave (Curtailment of Statutory Rights to Leave) Regulations 2014
Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Curtailment) Regulations 2014
Maternity Allowance (Curtailment) Regulations 2014
Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/2112).


Updated: 04/03/2020

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