This line manager briefing examines the law and best practice on paternity leave and pay, including eligibility to take paternity leave, employees' rights during and after paternity leave, and the choices available to employees with regard to the scheduling of paternity leave.
It should be noted that the rights and duties discussed in this briefing are the minimum statutory rights and duties. Individual employers may offer their employees contractual entitlements over and above the minimum statutory rights. Employees’ contractual terms may therefore be the source of further rights and duties that line managers will be required to take into account.
Paternity leave should not be confused with parental leave. Employees who are parents and have at least one year's service have the right to take up to 18 weeks' unpaid parental leave before their child's fifth birthday (or before the child's 18th birthday where the child is disabled). Adoptive parents must take the leave by the fifth anniversary of the adoption, or the child's 18th birthday - whichever occurs sooner. Parental leave is available to both parents in respect of each qualifying child.
Although in some cases female employees are eligible for paternity leave and pay, for the purposes of simplicity, this briefing refers to "he" and "him" throughout.
The briefing includes information on:
Duration and scheduling of ordinary paternity leave
Rights during ordinary paternity leave
Return to work after ordinary paternity leave
Additional paternity leave
- Eligibility for ordinary paternity leave
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