Does an employee have the right to return to the same job after additional paternity leave?

NOTE: The right to additional paternity leave and pay is available only to parents of children who were due on or before 4 April 2015, or adoptive parents of children placed for adoption (or in the case of overseas adoptions whose child enters Great Britain) on or before 4 April 2015. Additional paternity leave is replaced by shared parental leave.

Regulation 31(1) of the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1055) provides that an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employee takes no more than 26 weeks' additional paternity leave where this was either an isolated period of leave or the last of two or more consecutive periods of leave that did not include a period of additional maternity leave or additional adoption leave, or a period of parental leave lasting more than four weeks. For example, after three weeks of parental leave followed by 26 weeks of additional paternity leave, the employee would have the right to return to the same job.

If the employee returns to work after additional paternity leave in circumstances not covered by reg.31(1) and it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to allow a return to the same job, the employee is entitled to return to another job that is both suitable and appropriate for the employee to do in the circumstances. This could be the case, for example, if the employee takes more than 26 weeks' additional paternity leave (which could be the case in the event of the death of the mother or main adopter) or takes additional paternity leave immediately after more than four weeks of parental leave.