Additional Paternity Leave in the event of the mother's or adopter's death
If your partner dies during their Statutory Maternity or Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay period, you may be able to take an extended period of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay. Find out if you qualify.
The basics of extended Additional Paternity Leave
You may qualify for an extended period of paid Additional Paternity Leave if the child's mother or adopter who has taken adoption leave for the child has died either:
- before the child is one year old
- in the first year of an adoption placement for UK adoptions
- in the first year after the child adopted from overseas entered Northern Ireland
In this case Additional Paternity Leave can last up to 52 weeks. It can start at any point after the mother or adopter that took adoption leave died.
Extended Additional Paternity Leave can be taken:
- up to the child's first birthday (for births)
- until one year after the child was placed for adoption (for UK adoptions)
- entered Northern Ireland for adoption (for overseas adoptions)
You may be entitled to Additional Statutory Paternity Pay during your extended Additional Paternity Leave. This is paid during the 39 weeks your partner would have received Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Pay.
You may not take extended Additional Paternity Leave if you have already completed a period of Additional Paternity Leave for your child. If you are on a period of Additional Paternity Leave at the time of the mother's or adopter's death, you can extend your leave.
To take extended Additional Paternity Leave you must meet the other qualifying conditions for Additional Paternity Leave, you must also give the correct notice. However, the mother or adopter does not need to have returned to work for you to qualify for extended Additional Paternity Leave and Pay.
Telling your employer about taking or extending Additional Paternity Leave
Tell your employer as soon as possible that you want to take or extend your Additional Paternity Leave. You can do this verbally but you must follow up with written notice within eight weeks of the mother's or adopter's death. You can do this using form SC10. It is a good idea to check if your employer has their own form.
You need to say (and the form must include):
- when the baby was due or the date your partner was(or both your partner and yourself were) notified of having been matched for adoption or received official notification of the overseas adoption
- the actual date of the baby's birth or placement for adoption or the date your child entered Northern Ireland for the purposes of adoption
- when you want to start and finish your Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
- you are taking leave in order to care for the child
- the mother or adopter's name, address and National Insurance number
- the mother or adopter was entitled to either Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Pay (or Statutory Maternity or Adoption Leave if you are applying for unpaid leave only)
- the date of their death
- the start date of their Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay or Statutory Adoption Pay period - or the date it would have started
You must also confirm you are either:
- the father of the child
- the spouse, partner or civil partner (including same-sex relationships) of the mother or adopter
The form must include your relationship with the child:
- for UK adoptions, your partner (or both of you) must be matched with the child for adoption
- for other cases, you must confirm that you have the main responsibility for the upbringing of the child
You do not have to give notice before you start your leave, provided that you tell your employer of the mother or adopter's death as soon as possible.
Your employer may also ask, within 28 days of you giving written notice, for either:
- a copy of the child's birth, matching certificate or official notification and evidence of the child's entry into Northern Ireland
- the employment details of the mother or adopter
If asked for this information you must give it within 28 days or you may lose your entitlement.
You should give written notice as soon as reasonably possible. It must be given within eight weeks of the mother or adopter's death.
You do not have to start your Additional Paternity Leave within eight weeks of your partner's death. If you start Additional Paternity Leave later, you must give your employer six weeks' notice of date you wish to take leave.
Once you have told your employer you want to take Additional Paternity Leave, they should write to you within 28 days. They should tell you the date your Additional Paternity Leave and Pay will end.
You can choose different end dates for your Additional Paternity Leave and Pay. For example, you may do this if you take unpaid Additional Paternity Leave after your Additional Paternity Pay period has ended.