April 3: Additional paternity leave and pay comes into force

The right to additional paternity leave will apply to fathers and partners of mothers of children with an expected week of birth beginning on or after 3 April 2011. In cases of adoption, the right applies where the notification of the match with a child is on or after 3 April 2011, or where the child enters Great Britain on or after 3 April 2011, in relation to an adoption from overseas. 

The Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1055), which came into force on 6 April 2010, allow fathers to benefit from up to six months' additional paternity leave if the mother or primary adopter returns to work. Fathers will be entitled to take up to 10 keeping-in-touch days during the course of the additional paternity leave. Where fathers have taken additional paternity leave of 26 weeks or less, they have the right to return to the same job in which they were employed before they commenced the leave. To be eligible for the right, employees must have been continuously employed for 26 or more weeks by the end of the 15th week before the child's expected week of birth. 

The earliest that employees can take additional paternity leave is 20 weeks after the child is born but leave will usually be taken during the second six months of the child's life so that the first six months will be reserved for the mother to take maternity leave. 

Fathers who are eligible for additional paternity leave may also be entitled to additional statutory paternity pay (ASPP) where the mother or primary adopter returns to work and has not taken her full entitlement to statutory maternity pay or statutory adoption pay. For an employee to qualify for ASPP the mother or primary adopter must have at least two weeks of her statutory maternity pay period or adoption pay period that remains unexpired. ASPP will be payable at the standard rate of ordinary statutory paternity pay or 90% of the employee's average earnings if this is less than the standard rate. The standard rate of ordinary statutory paternity pay increases from £124.88 to £128.73 per week from 3 April 2011. 


Video: Statutory additional paternity pay XpertHR's head of content Jo Stubbs and senior employment law editor Clio Springer discuss statutory additional paternity pay, which some employees taking advantage of the new right to statutory additional paternity leave will be entitled to receive. 

Video: Additional paternity leave Jo Stubbs and group editor David Shepherd discuss the new right for fathers to take additional paternity leave where their partner returns to work. 

The XpertHR Line manager briefing on paternity rights sets out the law and best practice on the right to ordinary and additional paternity leave. 

The pay for employees not at work section of the XpertHR employment law manual gives comprehensive guidance on statutory additional paternity pay.