Paternity rights

Dads have the right to paid paternity leave, so make the most of it.


If your partner worked for his employer before your pregnancy, he’ll probably have the right to paid paternity leave.


He can take either one or two weeks, he can’t take odd days off, and if he takes two weeks, they must be taken together.

When can he start paternity leave?

He can choose to take leave either on the day that your baby’s born, a number of days or weeks after your baby’s born, or from a specific date after the first day of the week in which your baby’s due.

Your partner must finish his leave within 56 days of the birth.

When should he tell his employer?

He must tell his employer in writing at least 15 weeks before the beginning of the week your baby’s due. He’ll also have to tell them whether he wants one or two weeks, and when he wants leave to start.

Dad’s story

“I had two precious weeks off”

“I’m really lucky – at my work you get two weeks’ paid leave when the baby is born. It also helped that my boss is a dad.

“It was great to be at home to help Laura, to get used to the weird days and nights, and to be there to spend time with Josh. Walking him around to get him off to sleep was a great feeling.

“I think that even though Laura obviously needed the recovery time more than me, that extra few days really helped me feel like I was getting to grips with being a dad, rather than having a couple of days off around the big day when he was born and then straight back to work as if nothing had happened.”


Andrew, 39, dad to Josh, 18 months

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