The young father’s guide to Paternity Leave
SOME new fathers in the UK are now entitled to PAID paternity leave when their baby is born. Young dads can get it – but you have to be EMPLOYED. Read on to find out more . . .
How much is the Paternity Leave pay?
Paternity Leave is paid at the rate of £100 per week.
How long is Paternity Leave?
Paternity Leave can be up to 2 weeks. You can take either 1 or 2 weeks’ Leave. Whether you take one week or two, the Leave has to be taken in one ‘block’ – unless your manager agrees to a more flexible way.
When can I take Paternity Leave?
Paternity leave cannot start before your baby is born, and you have to take it within 56 days afterwards. If your baby is born early, you can take the leave up to 56 days after the date your baby had been expected.
When should I tell my employer?
At the latest during the 15th week before the week in which your baby is due. Or if this is not possible as soon as is ‘reasonably practicable’. If you tell your employer and then later want to change the start date for your Paternity Leave (or the amount of Leave you want to take), you must give your employer 28 days notice – or if this is not ‘reasonably practicable’, as soon as it is ‘reasonably practicable’.
How do I qualify for Paternity Leave?
• You must EITHER be the biological father OR be married to the mother OR be the mother’s ‘partner’
• You are taking the time off to support her and/or care for your baby.
• You have been continuously employed by your employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the week in which your baby is expected
• You have continued to be employed by that same employer from that time, right up until your baby is born
• Your average weekly earnings are no less than the lower earnings limit for National Insurance contributions (about £77 per week)
How do I claim Paternity Leave?
STEP ONE: In or before the 15th week before the date you expect your baby to arrive, write a note to your employer telling them:
- that you intend to take paternity leave
- the date your baby is due
- the date you expect to take your Paternity Leave from
- whether you plan to take 1 or 2 weeks off
STEP TWO: Your employer MAY ask you to complete a ‘self certificate’ to get your paternity pay. If your employer doesn’t give you one, you can download it at the bottom of this page.
You need to complete your self-certificate and hand it in to your employer NO LATER THAN 28 days (4 weeks) before you want your Paternity Leave to begin. (If you’ve already filled one out and handed it in, you don’t need to do another at this time.)
What do I do if I think my employer is wrong?
If you think your employer is wrong, go to this website address for more information about what to do:
Where else can I get help?
- You can find all the little details about Paternity Leave on the government’s Employment rights website: http://www.tiger.gov.uk (link also available on the right of this page)
- Go to the WORKPLACE Section on the Fathers Direct website – and learn lots more about your rights at work
- Working Families’ have a really good free helpline: 0800 013 0313. Their website is also very good: ttp://www.workingfamilies.org.uk (link also available on the right of this page)