Paternity Leave - Guidelines for Employees
Following the birth of a child eligible employees can take paid leave to care for the child or support the mother in the form of paternity leave.
In order to qualify for Statutory Paternity Leave you must:
- have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing
- be the biological father of the child or the mother's husband or partner (a partner, in this case, is someone who lives with the mother of the baby in an enduring family relationship but is not an immediate relative. This may include a female partner in a same sex couple)
- have worked continuously for the University for 26 weeks leading into the 15th week before the baby is due
be taking the time off to support the mother or care for the new baby
Types and Length of paternity leave
Statutory paternity leave
Eligible members of staff can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave (not odd days). You can choose to start your leave:
- from the date of the child's birth (whether this is earlier or later than expected), or
- from a chosen number of days or weeks after the date of the child's birth (whether this is earlier
or later than expected), or
- from a chosen date later than the first day of the week in which the baby is expected to be born.
Leave can start on any day of the week on or following the child's birth but must be completed:
- within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child, or
- if the child is born early, within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first
day of the expected week of birth.
Only one period of leave is available irrespective of whether more than one child is born as the result of the same pregnancy.
University Paternity leave
Members of staff with one year's service or more at the time the baby is due can benefit from the University paternity scheme that offers up to 1 working week's paternity leave with full pay. Employees can take an additional week under the statutory provisions detailed above.
Please note staff can only take a maximum of two weeks paternity leave using either or both statutory or / and university arrangements.
Additional Paternity Leave
For parents of children due on or after 3rd April 2011, additional paternity leave allows eligible members of staff to take up to 26 weeks leave to care for their baby - please see Additional Paternity Leave Guidelines for more details.
Adoption leave and pay is available to only one member of a couple, the other parent has the right to take paternity leave. Please refer to ‘Paternity leave guidelines for adoptive parents'.
Who do I need to inform about my intention to take paternity leave?
You should discuss your intention to take paternity leave with your Head of Department or Section so that early consideration can be given to covering your post during your absence.
Arrangements should be agreed with your Head of Department by the 25th week of pregnancy - which is 15 weeks before the baby is due. You will need to complete a ‘Paternity Certificate' setting out the following details:
The date the baby is due
The mother's full name and national insurance number
- Whether you wish to take one or two weeks leave
- The date you intend to start your paternity leave.
The Paternity Certificate is available below, or can be obtained from the HR Department. If your Head of Department agrees that you are eligible to take Paternity Leave, he/she should sign the Paternity Certificate and forward it to Payroll.
What will I be paid?
In order to qualify for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) you must have average weekly earnings at or above the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance 15 weeks before the baby is due. The lower earnings limit can be found on the government website http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm.
If you are eligible for statutory paternity leave and pay:
You will be entitled to 1 or 2 consecutive weeks leave at the standard rate of SPP or 90% of full pay - whichever is lower. The current rate of SPP can be found on the DTI website.
If you have 52 weeks or more service at the week the baby is due:
You will be entitled to the benefit of the University paternity scheme that offers up to 1 working week's paternity leave with full pay. SPP is included in your full pay for this first week of leave. If you wish to take a second week of leave under the statutory entitlement, this will be paid at the standard rate of SPP or 90% of full pay - whichever is lower.
Paternity leave must be taken in a single block and cannot be taken as odd days or as 2 separate weeks.
Additional Paternity Leave
If you are eligible, you can take up to 26 weeks' (up to 19 weeks paid at the rate of Statutory Paternity Pay or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less). Additional Paternity Pay will be payable only during the period that the mother would have received statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance had she not returned to work. Please refer to the Additional Paternity Leave Guidelines.
What if I am not entitled to any SPP from the University?
You should seek advice from your local Social Security or Jobcentre Plus office, as you may be eligible for other allowances. Please contact the Salaries office for information.
When can I start my paternity leave?
You can start your paternity leave at any time from the birth of the child, provided that paternity leave is taken up to 56 days after the actual date of birth, or up to 56 days after the original date the baby was due if this is later.
What if I want to change the date of the start of my paternity leave?
If you have given a fixed start date and wish to change this date you should give 28 days notice and fill in a new Paternity Certificate.
If you have notified that you wish to take your paternity leave from the birth of the child, you will be able to do so whether or not the child is born on the expected date.
Does taking paternity leave affect my rights at work in any way?
You are entitled to the benefit of your normal terms and conditions of employment, except for terms relating to wages or salary. You will be protected from suffering unfair treatment or dismissal for taking, or seeking to take, paternity leave.
Please note: Your absence on paternity leave does not affect any future application for research leave, promotion, etc.
What if I work term time only?
Please contact the Salaries Office for further clarification on your entitlement to paternity leave as this will vary according to the contract you are employed on.
How does Paternity leave affect my pension?
Paternity leave does not affect your pension as contributions will continue to be calculated as if you were working normally. Employee contributions will be adjusted during any period of SPP.