Which employees qualify for additional paternity leave?

The right to additional paternity leave is available only to fathers and partners of mothers 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. Following the abolition of additional paternity leave, parents may be eligible to take shared parental leave instead.

In a birth situation, an employee qualifies for additional paternity leave if he or she is the child's father, or is married to, the partner of, or the civil partner of the child's mother. The employee must also have had at least 26 weeks' continuous employment with the employer, ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, and remain in continuous employment with the employer until the week before the first week of the additional paternity leave. The employee must have, or expect to have, the main responsibility (apart from the child's mother) for the child's upbringing.

In an adoption situation, an employee who is one of a couple adopting a child will qualify for additional paternity leave if he or she had at least 26 weeks' continuous employment with the employer, ending with the week in which he or she was notified of the adoptive match (or for an adoption from overseas, 26 weeks' continuous employment ending with the week in which official notification was sent from the relevant domestic authority, or commencing with the week in which his or her employment with the employer began), and remains in continuous employment with the employer until the week before the first week of the additional paternity leave.

Where the child is being adopted from within the UK, to be entitled to additional paternity leave, the employee must have been jointly matched for adoption as part of a couple; additional paternity leave is not available to the spouse, civil partner or partner of the adopter if the couple are not jointly adopting the child. However, this does not apply where the child is being adopted from overseas. In these circumstances, where the adopter's spouse, civil partner or partner has, or expects to have, the main responsibility (apart from the adopter) for the child's upbringing, there is no requirement for him or her to be jointly adopting the child to be eligible for additional paternity leave.