Paternity leave: Prince William shows that every working man (even royalty!) is entitled

In just a few days, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, will give birth to the royal couple’s first child. And, after the birth, Prince William will be taking a couple of weeks of paternity leave. Yes, even royalty is entitled to paternity leave in the UK.

It appears that the prince will be following in the footsteps of his father Prince Charles in more ways than one – he is determined to be by his wife’s side when their baby arrives. Prince William’s decision shows every man that no matter what your profession or position, you’re entitled to take time off to enjoy being a dad when your new baby comes along.  

Although Prince William will soon be adding a new duty to his life – the fatherly kind – he’s not putting aside any of his royal duties just yet. It’s been reported that he will continue in his job with the RAF, for whom he flies as a search and rescue pilot, in the days ahead of the birth. But as soon as the baby is born, his official duties for the next few weeks will change to nappies and dummies.

Despite his royal position, like every new father, Prince William is allowed to take time off to enjoy his new born. And it’s been confirmed that Prince William will take a fortnight’s paternity leave to support Kate and the baby after the birth.

It’s good to know that like, every parent, the royal couple will have to learn to balance work with family life. 

According to some sources, later in the year the prince may leave the Royal Air Force altogether, but not to become a stay-at-home dad. Instead, he’ll have more on his plate than ever before. As the Queen slowly reduces her workload, the couple will increase theirs – with child in tow. His tour of duty at RAF Valley, North Wales, is due to end this September, so the couple may only have a few months post-birth to enjoy their new born before possibly taking on additional royal duties – well, William at least.

In the meantime, he’s still working hard as an air force pilot. Although he may be royalty, William is a leading example to other fathers by taking his paternity leave.

So, what does this mean he’s entitled to? 

As an employee in the United Kingdom, Prince William is legally allowed to up to two weeks’ paid ordinary paternity leave – which would be the same if Kate were having twins – but he will not be able to take his paternity leave until Kate has their child.

To some, two weeks might sound too short, but it’s not a case of just two weeks. Additionally, if Kate goes back to her royal duties, William will be allowed up to 26 weeks of leave. As with every father or partner, the prince’s entitlement depends on how much unused maternity or adoption leave his partner has and it must end within 56 days of the new royal arrival. 

One important point that all men have to remember is that paternity leave must be taken all in one go, and a week’s leave is counted as being the same as the number of days normally worked in a particular week. 

If and when a man decides to take his additional paternity leave, it can begin 20 weeks following the child’s birth (if his partner has gone back to work). And it must stop on the child’s first birthday. And, of course, he will need to give his employer notice (six weeks) as to any alterations to the start or end date of his time off.

Now, that may all sound very confusing, but paternity leave is actually pretty straightforward. For more information, visit here.

But wait, just one more thing regarding pay.

Some employers actually have paternity schemes which offer their employees extra paternity pay, but not everyone is that lucky. In Prince William’s case, the RAF supports paternity leave at the basic weekly pay rate.

Regardless of the amount of money received, the prince’s decision to take the leave to which he is entitled to is a great reminder that all expectant dads should be checking their rights and doing the same. 

What does your employer offer in terms of paternity leave? Does your employer offer extra paternity pay? Would you consider taking paternity leave while your partner goes back to work? Join the conversation here and let us know what you think.  

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