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Overview of the Paternity policy

This document is GDPR compliant.

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 paternity policy covers eligibility, notification requirements, as well as statutory paternity pay.

Use this paternity policy:

  • to inform staff and managers about the statutory paternity leave regime

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 policy 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. It means they can be one of the following:

  • the child's father, adopter or intended parent; or
  • the mother's husband or partner

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 or within 56 days of the expected date of birth if the child is born early.

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

When the leave starts, staff is entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) of £140.98 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 £113 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.

Ask a lawyer for:

  • 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 law of England and Wales or the law of Scotland.

Other names for Paternity policy

Paternity leave rights policy and Paternity rights statement.