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If you’re taking time off due to your partner having a new baby, adoption or having a baby through surrogacy, you may find you’re entitled to the following:

  • 1 or 2 weeks paternity leave
  • For children due or put up for adoption before 5 April 2015, up to 26 weeks’ paid Additional Paternity Leave
  • For children due or put up for adoption after 5 April 2015, Shared Parental Leave

You can only get additional Paternity leave if your partner returns to work, and you can’t have both leave and pay.

Employment rights when on leave

When you’re on paternity leave, your employment rights are protected, including:

  • Pay rises
  • Building up holiday pay
  • Return to work

In addition to this, you can get time off to accompany your partner or surrogate to two antenatal appointments, or if you’re adopting a child, you can have time off to attend two adoption appointments after you’ve been matched with a child.

Paternity leave

You will receive one or two weeks’ of paternity leave and this amount stays the same if your partner or surrogate has a multiple birth, such as twins. You will need to take your leave in one go, and a week is the same amount of days you normally work in a week. Your leave can’t start before the birth of your child.

Additional paternity leave

Depending on how much unused maternity or adoption leave your partner has, you could receive up to 26 weeks’ leave.

Your employer will confirm your start and end dates when you claim your leave. This can start 20 weeks after the birth, adoption or child’s arrival, if they’ve been adopted from overseas. The leave must end on the child’s first birthday, or within a year of the date when your child started living with you.

You will need to give your employer six weeks’ notice if you want to change your start or end date.

Paternity pay

Paternity pay and Additional Paternity Pay is either £139.58, or 90% of your average weekly earnings, depending on which is lower. All the money you’re paid in this time is paid the same way you receive your monthly or weekly salary, and tax and National Insurance is deducted.

Your employer will confirm the start and end dates for your Paternity Pay when you claim it, and the money is usually paid whilst you’re on leave.

If you take Additional Paternity Pay after the end of your partner’s Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or Statutory Adoption Pay, it will be unpaid.

In this circumstance, you will need to give your employer 28 days’ notice.

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