Where an employer suspects that an employee is not entitled to statutory paternity leave what can it do?
An employer has the right to insist that an employee requesting paternity leave signs a declaration confirming that the purpose of the leave is to care for the child in question, or to support the mother, and that they meet the eligibility requirements relating to their relationship with the child and the mother. These are that the employee is the child's father and has or expects to have responsibility for the child's upbringing; or is the mother's spouse, civil partner or partner (living with the child's mother in an enduring family relationship) and has or expects to have the main responsibility for the child's upbringing, apart from that of the mother.
Where the employer has evidence to suggest otherwise, it should caution the employee that they are liable to be disciplined or dismissed if those suspicions are confirmed. If an employee falsely claims and receives statutory paternity pay during their absence, they will be liable to prosecution by HM Revenue and Customs.