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Paternity leave

Updating author: Kalpana Murthy

Summary

  • The right to paternity leave arises in relation to biological children, children adopted from within the UK and children adopted from overseas. (See The right to paternity leave)
  • An employee who is the biological father of a child, or the mother's husband, civil partner or partner, and who has been continuously employed for 26 or more weeks by the end of the 15th week before the child's expected week of birth, has the qualified right to take either one week's or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave. (See Entitlement to paternity leave (birth))
  • An employee who is the spouse, civil partner or partner of an individual who has adopted a child (or who is one of a couple who have jointly adopted a child) under the law of any part of the UK, and who has been continuously employed for 26 weeks ending with the week in which notification of the adoptive match occurs, has the qualified right to take either one week's or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave. (See Entitlement to paternity leave (adoption witin the UK))
  • An employee who is the spouse, civil partner or partner of an individual who has adopted a child (or who is one of a couple who have jointly adopted a child) from overseas, and who has 26 weeks' continuous employment, ending with the week the official notification of eligibility was received or since the start of his or her employment, has the qualified right to take either one week's or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave. (See Entitlement to paternity leave (adoption from overseas))
  • Only one period of paternity leave is available, even if more than one child is born as the result of the same pregnancy or if more than one child is placed with an individual or couple for adoption under the same arrangement. (See The right to paternity leave)
  • Eligible employees intending to exercise their right to paternity leave must notify their employer of the intended start date by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. In the case of a child adopted within the UK, notification must be within seven days of the date on which notification of the adoptive match occurred, and in the case of a child adopted from overseas, within 28 days of receipt of the official notification of eligibility for adoption. (See Notice of intention to take paternity leave (birth), Notice of intention to take paternity leave (adoption within the UK), and Notice of intention to take paternity leave (adoption from overseas))
  • Employees have the right not to be victimised, dismissed, selected for redundancy or subjected to any other detriment for exercising their right to paternity leave, or for questioning or challenging their employer's alleged infringement of that right. (See Dismissal and victimisation)
  • With effect from 1 October 2014, fathers and partners have the right to unpaid time off to accompany a pregnant woman to up to two antenatal appointments. (See Time off for fathers and partners to accompany pregnant women to antenatal appointments)

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