The government has published draft legislation updating the rules around paternity leave.

What is the current paternity leave entitlement?

  • Currently, fathers/partners are entitled to statutory paternity leave allowing eligible employees up to two weeks off work following the birth or adoption of their child.
  • This has to be taken within eight weeks following the birth or adoption of the child.
  • This cannot be taken as separate periods of time.

Proposed changes to paternity leave

As part of The Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024, the new legislation will enable paternity leave to be split into two blocks of one week at any point in the first year after the birth or adoption of their child. It will apply in all cases where the expected week of childbirth falls after 6th April 2024.

  • Currently, the notice period is 15 weeks before the week of expected childbirth. This is changing to 28 days or four weeks. In cases of adoption, the notice period stays the same as seven days if the employee receives a notice of being matched with a child.
  • These regulations come into force on 8th March 2024 and apply to eligible employees.
  • Leave can be taken at any point during the first year of the birth/adoption of their child.

Advice for employers

To prepare for the changes, we would advise employers to update their paternity policies to reflect these changes. Get in touch if you would like more advice or guidance on these changes.

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