Can an employee who is absent due to sickness in the months immediately after the birth or adoption of a child take paid paternity leave at a later date?

Paternity leave and pay must be taken within 56 days of a birth or adoption placement date. Therefore an employee who is off sick during this period will be unable to take paid paternity leave at a later date. However, the employee may qualify for shared parental leave or unpaid ordinary parental leave.

Employers may choose to exercise greater flexibility in relation to paternity rights that exceed the statutory scheme, and allow employees to take such paternity leave and pay when their sick leave has ended.