Paternity leave and paternity pay

Stephen SimpsonEditor's message: Statutory paternity leave is a period of one or two consecutive weeks’ leave, to be taken within eight weeks of the birth or adoption of the child and paid at least at the rate of statutory paternity pay.

Given the meagreness of statutory paternity leave in the UK, employers should think about enhancing it by:

  • paying employees on paternity leave their normal pay, rather than the statutory minimum, for some or all of their paternity leave; and/or
  • providing more than two weeks’ paternity leave - according to XpertHR survey data, the most commonly cited option is to offer an additional two weeks’ paternity leave, so four weeks in total.

One other option we sometimes see employers adopt is forgoing the 26-week service requirement to be paid paternity pay, ie offering paternity pay from day one of employment.

Stephen Simpson, principal employment law editor

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to paternity leave and paternity pay.