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It’s very important for both of you to spend time with your new baby. Find out what leave men are entitled to take here
There have been a number of recent changes to the time away from work fathers are permitted after the birth of a child. Find out the rules in advance so you can both plan your time with baby over the first weeks and months.
If they’re employed, men are entitled to either one or two weeks off work after the birth of a baby, as well as their normal holiday allowance. It has to be taken in one go and if you work part-time, you’ll only be entitled to those days you normally work.
Taking Paternity Leave
Only after the baby has been born and it has to end within 56 days of the birth. You don’t have to give a precise start date, just a rough idea, and you’ll need to give your employer 28 days’ notice to change the start date. There are special rules for premature or stillbirths, explained in full on https://www.gov.uk/statutory-paternity-pay-employee-circumstances-that-affect-payment. You may be eligible for either one or two weeks of paid paternity leave.
How to qualify
• You must be the child’s biological father or adopter, the mother’s partner, or be expected to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing.
• You need to have worked for the same employer, without a break, for at least 26 weeks before the 15th week before the baby is due, or the end of the week the adoption agency matched you with a child.
• You must continue to work for this employer until the child is born or placed with you, if you’re adopting.
• You need to be earning at least £112 a week before tax.
What about pay?
The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay is £139.58, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). It’s paid in the same way as wages, with tax and National Insurance deducted at source.
Men can also take unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments, of up to 6.5 hours per appointment. Or, if you’re adopting a child, to attend two adoption appointments.
By Julia Shaw