Your contract of employment continues throughout statutory paternity leave unless either you or your employer 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 to apply 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 length-of-service payments, such as pay increments.
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 it.
For the purpose of pension rights, an employer should maintain its contribution to a workplace pension while an employee is taking paternity leave. 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.
You will have the right return to a job with the same seniority, pension rights and similar rights. You 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 you had not gone on leave.
Following paternity leave, you will be entitled to return to the same job that you had before taking paternity leave if you:
You still have a right to return to the same job if you return to work after having taken:
However, if it isn't reasonably possible for your employer to give it back to you, you'll have the right to return to another job that is both suitable and appropriate for you to do. A suitable and appropriate alternative job must be as close as possible to the previous role that you held. You must be given the same remuneration, seniority, status and the same terms and conditions of employment as if you had not been absent.
You're also entitled to benefit from any general improvements to the rate of pay or other terms and conditions introduced while you 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.