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Notify staff and managers about the statutory paternity leave regime with this paternity leave policy. Make sure your staff know when paternity leave can be taken and when they have to return to work.

This document is GDPR compliant.

Use this paternity policy to inform staff and managers about:

  • the statutory paternity leave regime

  • who is entitled to UK paternity leave

  • who is entitled to UK paternity pay

For more information about different types of family leave, read Family leave and right

This paternity leave policy covers:

  • what is paternity leave
  • who is eligible for paternity leave
  • when paternity leave can be taken
  • notification requirements
  • statutory paternity pay
  • employer's enhanced paternity pay
  • rights during paternity leave
  • returning to work after leave

A paternity policy is a document that sets out the applicable paternity leave regime and explains the statutory entitlements to paternity leave and pay.

Introducing a paternity policy helps managers and staff understand the rights and obligations attached to paternity leave. It ensures staff are aware of their rights when they are about to become parents and it provides assistance in their return to work. Having a paternity policy encourages equality and fairness within the workplace.

To qualify for statutory paternity leave, the staff must have parental responsibility. This means that they must have some responsibility for the child’s upbringing and be:

  • the child’s biological parent (whether or not living with the child)
  • the child’s adoptive parent
  • the child’s surrogate parent
  • the spouse, partner or civil partner of the child’s mother, adopter or surrogate parent

In addition, they must be an employee under a Contract of employment (ie not a worker or contractor).

Ordinary paternity leave must be taken within 56 days of the: 

  • birth of a child 

  • expected date of birth if the child is born early

Read Paternity leave for more information.

During paternity leave, the employment contract continues except for pay. All other benefits must continue as normal. Employees must not be dismissed or subjected to a detriment for taking or requesting paternity leave.

When the leave starts, staff are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) of £156.66 a week, or 90% of the average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

To qualify for SPP, staff must:

  • have at least 26 weeks of continuous service by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the 'qualifying week')
  • earn at least £123 a week (before tax), and
  • give the correct notice (ie tell in writing that they want to take ordinary paternity leave before the end of the qualifying week)

For more information, read Paternity leave.

Ask a lawyer for help:

  • changing an existing paternity leave policy that is contractually binding
  • where allegations of discrimination are made in connection with paternity leave

This paternity policy is governed by the employment laws (eg the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Employment Act 2002) of England and Wales or the law of Scotland.

Other names for Paternity policy

Paternity leave rights policy, Paternity rights statement, Paternity policy UK, Paternity leave policy, Paternity leave policy and procedure, Paternity leave procedure.