Paternity leave: the facts

New dads are entitled to time off after the baby's birth too.

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It’s pretty stressful having a new baby to look after, so rope in all the help you can get.

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Some employers have their own paternity leave arrangements, which are more generous than the statutory entitlement.

Fathers to be do not have the right to take time off to accompany your partner to antenatal appointments. The right to paid time off only applies to pregnant employees. However, check with your employer, many see this is an important time and let employees take paid time off or make up the time later.

Here’s what the Government will offer:

Your partner can take up to two weeks paternity leave in addition to his normal holiday allowance, and receive paternity pay of £124.88 a week, or 90% of his wages if that is lower.

He can take the leave any time from the birth up to eight weeks afterwards and needs to have been working with his employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the baby is due. He must also be earning at least £97 a week.

He must give his employer notice that he wants to take time off.

Even if your partner doesn’t qualify for paternity leave, it is worth asking his boss for time off anyway – you never know, he might agree. Alternatively, he could take paid holiday after the birth.

Flexible working – Parents of children aged 16 and under (or 18 and under if the child is disabled) are entitled to request to work flexibly. This can help you balance caring for your child and work. Your employer must consider your request and respond to you in writing.

Losing a baby – You can still take Statutory Paternity Leave if your child is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy or is born alive at any point of the pregnancy.

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For more detailed information visit the direct.gov website.

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