Can employees be required to be flexible about when they take their paternity leave, if several members of a department going on leave at the same time could cause problems for the business?
Employers cannot require employees to be flexible about when they take their paternity leave. Paternity leave is a statutory right. Provided that an employee meets the conditions for taking paternity leave and takes it within the 56-day period from the date when the child is born or placed for adoption, it is for the employee to choose when to start paternity leave. The employee must give the notice required by the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2788). Employers can ask employees if they are prepared to be flexible over the timing of their paternity leave, but they cannot insist on this.