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Employment for Individuals

Paternity Leave & Pay

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
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Natalie Wellock

Starting a family should be a happy and joyful time, however, this life-changing event can be made stressful if your employer isn’t supportive.

Parents and other individuals who are responsible for caring for dependants whilst working have a number of legal protections.

This section focuses on paternity rights but if you have caring responsibilities for children, relatives or dependants you should also be aware of the right to request flexible working, and other ‘family-friendly rights’ such as the right to shared parental leave, parental leave, and emergency time off for dependants (all subject to certain eligibility criteria).



Your statutory rights as a father, or if your partner is having a baby/adopting

By law, eligible employees are entitled to a number of statutory rights, including:

  • Up to two weeks statutory paternity leave
  • Paternity pay
  • Protection against detriment or dismissal for taking or seeking to take statutory paternity leave
  • Unpaid time off to accompany expectant mothers to 2 antenatal appointments
  • Shared parental leave and pay (for more information about shared parental leave, click here)
  • The right to request flexible working (for more information, click here)


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How do I get legal assistance?

Speak to our knowledgeable team

If you’re concerned about how your employer is treating you, then we will advise you on whether or not you may be eligible for certain rights and how you can exercise those rights.

Representing your rights

Your case will be allocated to the most appropriate lawyer for your circumstances. Your lawyer will be able to consider your situation and advise you on how best to protect your position and secure the outcome you want.

Funding options

We’ll ensure you’re provided with clear information on costs. You may have the benefit of alternative funding through your legal expenses insurance provider or trade union. If you don’t, we’ll be able to provide you with clear and upfront cost estimates to ensure you remain in control of your costs at every stage.

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What outcomes can I expect?

Easily contactable

Our dedicated employment law legal team are always on hand to provide legal advice on your maternity, paternity, adoption, or parental leave rights. We pride ourselves on always being available to speak to our clients about their queries and worries.


We can help you to resolve disputes with your employer through discussion where possible, or we can take legal action against your employer to enforce your rights. If you’re discriminated against or victimised for exercising your rights, we’ll fight your corner.

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Frequently asked questions

Who's entitled to paternity leave?

In order to qualify for statutory paternity leave an employee must satisfy the following:

  • They must have or expect to have parental responsibility for the child and be either the biological father, or their partner is having a baby, adopting a child or having a child through surrogacy
  • They must be an employee with at least 26 weeks’ service by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due.
  • They must give the correct notice.
  • They must not already have taken paternity leave in respect of the same child.

How much paternity leave am I entitled to?

Employees who are eligible for paternity leave can take either one or two consecutive weeks leave at any time in the baby’s first 8 weeks.

Will I be paid during paternity leave?

During statutory paternity leave, eligible employees are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) from their employer. The rate of SPP is the same as the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay. The current statutory rate is £151.97 per week, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is the lesser).

To be eligible for SPP you must:

  • Be employed by your employer up to the date of birth
  • Earn at least £120 a week (before tax)
  • Give the correct notice
  • Have been continuously employed by your employer for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the ‘qualifying week’ (the ‘qualifying week’ is the 15th week before the baby is due. This is different if you adopt.)
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