Supporting Employees Who Are Parents: Paternity Leave

In the UK, paternity leave is the period of time that a new father takes off from work to spend time with his new baby and to support his partner. Paternity leave is important to help new fathers bond with their babies and to support the physical and emotional needs of their partner…

In the UK, eligible fathers can take up to two weeks of paid paternity leave, which can be taken within the first 56 days after the baby is born. This is known as Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL). The leave is paid at the lower of £151.20 per week or 90% of the father’s average weekly earnings.

In addition to OPL, fathers may be eligible for additional paternity leave (APL). This allows fathers to take up to 26 weeks of leave if the mother returns to work before the end of her maternity leave period. However, APL can only be taken once the baby is 20 weeks old and must be completed by the time the baby is one year old. APL is paid at the same rate as OPL.

To be eligible for paternity leave, the father must have been employed for at least 26 weeks before the 15th week before the baby is due. The father must also be responsible for the upbringing of the child and have either the biological or adoptive responsibility for the child.

During paternity leave, fathers are entitled to the same employment rights and protections as if they were at work. This includes their right to return to their job at the end of the leave period. Employers cannot discriminate against employees who take paternity leave, and it is illegal to dismiss an employee because they have taken paternity leave.

It is important for employers to support fathers who take paternity leave by having clear policies and procedures in place. Employers can also offer flexible working arrangements to allow fathers to balance their work and family responsibilities. This can include remote working or flexible hours.

Register or log in to get started in your organisation

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Get our EDI news and guides straight to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Login or Sign Up

You'll need an Empower Up members account to access this awesome content.

Our members get free access to:

Don't have an account? Sign up