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.

However, more employers are embracing a modern approach to work and parenthood and offering their employees enhanced payment, flexibility or length of paternity leave. For example, mobile network provider O2 offers 14 weeks’ paternity leave at full pay.

The Government has mooted the possibility of requiring employers with more than 250 employees to make public details of their “parental leave and pay” policies, which would include their paternity leave arrangements.

Given the variation between companies and the fact that most job applicants are reluctant to ask about a prospective employer's family-friendly policies, this new requirement would make large companies' family leave offerings much more transparent and make it easier for potential employees to choose the employer for which they want to work.

Stephen Simpson, principal employment law editor

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