Additional Paternity Leave: returning to work
Find out about your employment rights and responsibilities when you return to work after Additional Paternity Leave. If you have any problems or if you are denied your rights, there are steps you can follow.
Returning to work after Additional Paternity Leave
When you return to work after 26 weeks or less of Additional Paternity Leave, you have a right to the same job and the same terms and conditions as if you hadn't been away. This protection also applies where you take up to four weeks' parental leave in addition to your Additional Paternity Leave.
Where you have taken more leave than this, you should also return to the same job with the same terms and conditions. However, if your employer shows that it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to your original job, you must be offered suitable alternative work.
This must be with the same employment terms and conditions as if you hadn't been away. For example, your employer might do this if your job no longer exists.
Giving notice of your return to work
You must tell your employer the date you expect to return to work when you give notice that you wish to take Additional Paternity Leave. If you wish to return at an earlier date you must give at least six weeks' notice before the new date.
If you do not give correct notice, your employer can insist you don't return until the earlier of:
- a six week notice period
- your original return date
Illness at the end of your Additional Paternity Leave
If you can't return to work at the end of your Additional Paternity Leave because of illness, tell your employer in the normal way. If you qualify to be paid Statutory Sick Pay during your Additional Statutory Paternity Pay period, you will receive Statutory Sick Pay instead.
As the parent of a child aged 16 or under, or a disabled child under 18, you are entitled to request a flexible working pattern. This can help you balance caring for your child and work. Your employer must consider your request and respond to you in writing.
Taking parental leave after Additional Paternity Leave
If you need more time off to look after your child you may be able to take parental leave. You can take up to four weeks' parental leave at the end of your Additional Paternity Leave without affecting your right to return.
If you take more than four weeks you will be able to return to the same job unless this is not reasonably practicable. In this case, you must be offered alternative work that is suitable to you and with the same terms and conditions as if you hadn't been away.
Parental leave doesn't have to follow straight on after Additional Paternity Leave. You can take parental leave at a later time after you have returned to work.
What to do if you have problems
If you are being denied your rights, talk to your employer first of all. If you have an employee representative (a trade union official) they may be able to help. If this doesn't work, you may need to make a complaint using your employer's internal grievance procedure.