Note: this leaflet gives a brief summary of benefits for the partner of a pregnant woman and is for guidance only. It does not cover all situations nor is it a full statement of the law. Sources of further, more detailed information are given at the end.
Your rights to paternity leave
To qualify for paternity leave you must have been with the same employer continuously for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due. You may take paternity leave even if you do not qualify for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). You are entitled to 1 or 2 weeks’ paternity leave. But, if you have 2 weeks these must be continuous, you cannot have 1 week and then another week some time later. You may not have the time as odd days spread over a longer period. Paternity leave is additional to your normal annual leave.
To be entitled to paternity leave you must:
- Be the baby’s biological father.
- Or be the mother’s husband, partner or civil partner.
- Or be responsible for the baby’s upbringing.
You must let your employer know 15 weeks before the baby is due (in writing if this is company policy) that you want to take paternity leave and whether you want to take 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks. If you need to change the start date then you must give you employer 28 days’ notice.
You cannot take paternity leave before the baby is born. But, you can start the leave later than the birth of the baby, as long as it is completed within 56 of days of the birth.
Statutory Paternity Pay
SPP is paid by your employer for the 1 week or 2 weeks’ continuous paternity leave you have chosen to take. You are entitled to SPP if you have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks continuously by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due and you are earning an average of at least �107 a week (April 2012).
How much is Statutory Paternity Pay?
SPP is £135.45 a week or 90% of your average weekly wages, whichever is less (April 2012 rate). SPP is paid in the same way and at the same time as your normal wages or salary.
How do you claim Statutory Paternity Pay?
You must let your employer know 15 weeks before the baby is due when you want the SSP to start. If you need to change the start date then you must give your employer 28 days’ notice.
Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
You may be entitled to Additional Paternity Leave and Pay if your partner is returning to work. It is available for a maximum of 26 weeks.
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is payable during your partner’s Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Adoption Pay period and is £135.45 a week or 90% of your average weekly wages, whichever is less (April 2012 rate).
Further information, help and advice
Department for Work and Pensions
Their website provides a list of claim forms that you can download or fill in online for benefits, allowances, pensions, etc – www.dwp.gov.uk/eservice/
Contact details of their local offices (Jobcentre Plus offices and other ‘social security’ offices) can usually be found in the phone book under ‘Jobcentre Plus’.
Or, find out about local offices and much more from the website www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
Directgov provides information from across UK governmental departments on topics ranging from travel safety and parental leave, to special educational needs, local NHS services, and benefits. The site also brings together an increasing number of online government services – including being able to download and/or complete certain benefit claim forms online.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Provides independent advice on many issues, including benefits. Listed in the phone book under ‘Citizens Advice Bureaux’. Also, see their excellent website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
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