Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
If you are a new dad and your partner is returning or has returned to work, you could have the right to up to 26 weeks' Additional Paternity Leave. Find out if you qualify.
The basics of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
You may qualify for Additional Paternity Leave and Pay if either:
- you are the father of a child due on or after 3 April 2011
- your wife, partner or civil partner is pregnant and due to give birth to a child on or after 3 April 2011
- your partner (or both of you) receive notification that you are matched with a child for adoption on or after 3 April 2011
- your spouse, civil partner or partner (including same-sex relationships) is adopting a child from overseas and the child enters Northern Ireland on or after 3 April 2011
Additional Paternity Leave is for a maximum of 26 weeks. If your partner has returned to work, the leave can be taken between 20 weeks and one year after your child is born or placed for adoption. You may be entitled to receive Additional Statutory Paternity Pay during your partner's Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Adoption Pay period.
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is paid if you either:
- take Additional Paternity Leave
- are not working for the purposes of caring for your child, during your partner's Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Pay period
The current rate is £136.78 from 7 April 2013 or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings, if that is less.
To qualify for Additional Paternity Leave you must be an employee. For Additional Statutory Paternity Pay you must be an employed earner and both you and your partner must meet certain criteria that are set out below. If you are unsure if you are an employee, follow the link below.
Qualifying for Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
Additional Paternity Leave
You can take Additional Paternity Leave if you are an employee with an employment contract. To qualify for leave, you must have been with your employer for at least 26 weeks' by the qualifying week either:
- the end of the 15th week before the start of the week when the baby is due
- the end of the week your partner (or both of you) are notified you are matched with your child (adopting within the UK)
- the date your child enters Northern Ireland for the purposes of adoption (adopting from overseas)
You must also still be employed with that employer the week, which runs Sunday to Saturday, before you want to start your leave.
For you to qualify for Additional Paternity Leave you must be taking the time off to care for the child and the child's mother or adopter must:
- have been entitled to one or more of the following - Statutory Maternity Leave, Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay
- have started working again so that any relevant pay has stopped
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay
For you to qualify for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay you must be an employed earner. That is you must work for someone who is liable to pay the employer's share of your class one National Insurance contributions. You must also earn at least the lower earnings limit (LEL) for National Insurance contributions in force at the end of the qualifying week.
The mother or adopter must have started working again and any relevant payment must have stopped, with at least two weeks of the 39 week payment period remaining.
You must intend to care for the child during your Additional Statutory Paternity Pay period.
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is only payable to you during the period of your partner’s 39 week Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity or Statutory Adoption Pay period.
Qualifying for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay when adopting from overseas
For Additional Statutory Paternity Pay in the case of overseas adoptions, the qualifying week is the later of either:
- the week official notification was received
- the week you have 26 weeks' continuous employment with the employer paying Additional Statutory Paternity Pay
You must have the main responsibility (along side the responsibility of the mother or adopter taking adoption leave) for the upbringing of the child. If you are adopting from a UK adoption agency, your partner (or both of you) must be matched with the child for adoption.
Unpaid Additional Paternity Leave
You have the right to take unpaid Additional Paternity Leave if you meet the eligibility criteria for leave but not pay. All Additional Paternity Leave taken after the end of the Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Pay period is unpaid.
You continue to be an employee throughout your Additional Paternity Leave unless your contract is expressly ended by you or your employer.
Agency workers, office holders and subcontractors
If you are not an employee, but are an agency worker, office holder or subcontractor, you will not normally have the right to Additional Paternity Leave. You may be eligible for pay if you meet the other qualifying criteria, and have stopped working in order to care for the child.
If you don't qualify for Additional Paternity Leave or Pay
If you do not qualify for Additional Paternity Leave or Pay you may be able to take annual leave or unpaid parental leave instead.
You may also be able to request a more flexible working pattern.
If you apply for and do not qualify for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay, your employer must give you a copy of the form ASPP1, explaining the reason why.
Other family benefits you may be entitled to
There are a number of additional benefits available to new parents. These include Child Benefit and Tax Credits. Whether you qualify for these benefits will depend on your personal situation.