To be entitled to take one or two weeks’ continuous paternity leave, your partner must:
- Have been employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by 15 weeks before your due date
- Be the father of the child, or the mother’s husband, civil partner or cohabiting partner (same sex partners are included)
- Have, or expect to have, responsibility for bringing up the child.
To get statutory paternity pay, your partner must meet the conditions above and also:
- Still be working for your employer when the baby is born.
- Have average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit for National Insurance Contributions.
Naturally it makes sense to tell your employer that you intend on taking paternity leave as soon as you can, but you do need to tell them no later than 15 weeks before the baby is due in order to benefit, and in order for our employer to arrange for any changes that may be necessary in your absence.
You do also have to state whether you intend on taking one week or two weeks paternity leave. The choice is one or two weeks, and the time must be taken off in one block rather than spreading it out over a longer period.
If you qualify for paternity pay, then you’ll receive statutory paternity pay which is either (at the time of writing in December 2014) £138.18 per week or 90% of your normal average weekly pay. You’ll receive the lower of these figures, although employers may pay more if such a consideration has been made in your employment contract’s terms and conditions.
For the latest information on statutory paternity leave and pay entitlement, take a look at the Gov UK website.
If you’d like legal advice on any aspect of paternity pay or paternity leave then you can talk to QualitySolicitors using our Free Initial Assessment service. This is a free five-minute chat so you can let us know about your circumstances and we can let you know how we can help.