An employee qualifies for statutory paternity leave on the birth of a baby if they are:
In addition, they must:
The EWC is the week in which the expected date of the baby's birth falls starting with the preceding Sunday and ending the following Saturday.
An employee will still be entitled to take statutory paternity leave in the following situations:
Employees must give their employer the required notice in order to qualify for paternity leave. You can request that this be provided to you in writing for your records.
When notice should be provided
Notice should be provided to you no later than the end of the 15th week before the EWC.
If the notice is provided late then you are not under any obligation to accept the notice, unless it was not reasonably practicable for the employee to notify you in time (e.g. the mother of baby did not realise she was pregnant). If this is the case, the employee must still provide you with the notice as soon as it is reasonably practicable for them to do so.
What information should be included
The notice should provide:
The employee does not have to give you any medical evidence of the pregnancy. You do not have to give the employee confirmation of the end date of their paternity leave.
You can also request the employee to provide a written declaration stating that he satisfies the conditions that entitle him to take paternity leave and that he will be taking the time off to support the mother and/or care for the baby.
Notice of birth
In addition, the employee should provide you with a further notice as soon as reasonably practicable after the birth of the child of the date when the child was born. Once again, you can request the employee to provide this notice in writing.
Eligible employees can choose to take either one or two whole weeks' paternity leave. They cannot take it as odd days or as two separate weeks.
The duration of leave remains the same regardless of the number of children resulting from a single pregnancy.
An employee cannot start their leave until the birth of the baby. Otherwise, an employee can choose to start their paternity leave:
If an employee specifies the date of birth as the day they wish to start their paternity leave and they are at work on that day, their leave will begin on the next day.
As long as the employee has given the required notice, their paternity leave can start on any day of the week. However, their leave must finish:
Changing the start date of leave
The employee can change the date when they want their paternity leave to start so long as they give you the following notice which you can request that they give to you in writing:
Please note that in the case of the last option, if the date when the employee's leave starts turns out to be different (as the date that the child is actually born differs from the EWC) then the employee will not be required to provide you with a new notice.
Where an employee has chosen to begin their period of leave on a particular date and the child is not born on or before that date then they must vary their choice of start date using one of the above-mentioned options. In these circumstances, the employee should:
If it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to give you this notice in time, then it should be given to you as soon as it becomes reasonably practicable to do so.