Paternity Leave (and other employment issues)

Questions we have been include:

‘I took two weeks paternity leave, but now my employer says I was not entitled to it and won’t
be paid’
‘I work as a teacher and my Head says that teachers aren’t eligible for paternity leave’
‘I have heard that fathers as well as mothers have a right to ask for flexible working when
their children are young. Is this true?”
‘My husband is on paternity leave but there is confusion over how much money he should be
‘Mother returning to work finds job changed. Can employer do this?’

Our suggestions:

The TIGER website
o The government has created a really good website – ( – that covers different aspects of UK employment law in a user-friendly way (TIGER stands for ‘Tailored Interactive Guide to Employment Rights’). You can navigate through TIGER using such hyperlinks as

• ‘Working Families’
o great website with useful factsheets, including for dads
and an online guide to flexible working
o free confidential legal and practical advice to mums and dads on a low incomes (call Freefone 0800 013 0313 for the Helpline opening times) to advise parents on their legal rights, tax credits, and family friendly working (most don’t know their entitlements, so never claim them)

• Citizens’ Advice (formerly Citizens’ Advice Bureau): for the address of your local walk-in office try your local telephone directory or or phone Head Office 020 7833 2181 (for referral to local branches and to answer basic questions). For fantastic web-based advice on go to

• ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) runs an Advice Line 08457 47 47 47 (8.00 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday) (08456 0616 00 for the hearing impaired)

• if you think that, as a working father, you are being treated differently from a working mother and that this amounts to sex-discrimination, contact the Equal Opportunities Commission, telephone 0845 601 5901 or email

• and if you are a member of a Trades Union – ask them!