Paternity leave is the right for a father, partner of a pregnant woman, surrogate parent or someone who has been matched with a child by an adoption agency, with 26 weeks' service as an employee, to take up to 2 weeks' leave in one block. The 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 .
Expectant fathers, or partners of expectant mothers (and surrogate parents from 6 April 2015) are also entitled to unpaid time off work to attend up to 2 antenatal appointments (up to a maximum of six and a half hours each) regardless of the length of time they have worked for an employer.
Employees who earn more than a set amount (currently £120 before tax) are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) at a fixed statutory rate during ‘ordinary paternity leave’ (OPL) (£151.97 a week) or 90% of the average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
Whether such employees will receive SPP during ‘additional paternity leave’ (APL) depends on when exactly the mother or adopter returned to work (ie whether they had any remaining entitlement to statutory maternity or adoption pay when they returned to work).
Employees must not be dismissed or subjected to detriment for taking or requesting paternity leave. Consider introducing a Paternity policy which will help managers and staff to understand the paternity leave rights and obligations, and ensure that the policy includes references to your Data protection policy and Employee privacy notice - a statement describing how you collect, use, retain and disclose personal information. For further information, read Data protection and employees.