An employee's contract of employment continues throughout paternity leave unless either you or the employee expressly ends it or it expires.
During paternity leave an employee has a statutory right to continue to benefit from all the terms and conditions of employment which would have applied to them had they been at work, except for the terms relating to wages or salary.
Examples of contractual terms and conditions that continue during paternity leave include:
Paternity leave counts towards an employee's period of continuous employment for the purposes of entitlement to other statutory employment rights, e.g. the right to a redundancy payment.
It also counts towards assessing seniority and personal length-of-service payments, such as pay increments, under the contract of employment.
An employee continues to accrue statutory - and any contractual - annual leave entitlement throughout paternity leave.
An employee may not take annual leave during paternity leave - but may take it immediately before or after paternity leave.
For the purpose of pension rights, during paternity leave an employer should maintain its contribution to the pension. The employee must continue to pay their pension contributions if the pension scheme rules require them to do so. An employee will not have to make any contributions towards their pension during any period in which they are not receiving any statutory paternity pay. However, they may still make voluntary contributions if the pension scheme rules allow them to do so.
An employee will have the right return to a job with the same seniority, pension rights and similar rights. They will also have the right to return to a job with the same terms and conditions (including remuneration) that are as favourable as they would have been if they had not gone on leave. Following paternity leave, employees will be entitled to return to the same job that they had before taking paternity leave.
Following paternity leave, employees will be entitled to return to the same job that they had before taking paternity leave if any one of the following is true:
The employee will still have a right to return to the same job if they return to work after having taken:
However, if it isn't reasonably possible for you to give it back to them they will have the right to return to another job that is both suitable and appropriate for them to do. A suitable and appropriate alternative job must be as close as possible to the previous role held by the employee. They must keep their remuneration, seniority, status and the same terms and conditions of employment as if they had not been absent.
They are also entitled to benefit from any general improvements to the rate of pay or other terms and conditions introduced while they were away.
An employee returning to work may make a request to work flexibly, e.g. to work from home or do part-time hours.