You will qualify for statutory ordinary paternity leave (OPL) on the birth of a baby if you are:
In addition, you must:
You will still be entitled to ordinary paternity leave if you haven't met the above conditions, but the following situations apply:
This rather complicated exception is designed to allow for the fact that OPL is based on the EWC, rather than the actual birth date, because the actual birth date is impossible to predict with certainty.
Stillborn or short-lived baby
If you are entitled to OPL, you are normally entitled to statutory ordinary paternity pay. For more information, see our '' section.
The expected week of childbirth (EWC) is used to calculate your entitlement to paternity leave (see above). The EWC is the week in which the expected date of the baby's birth falls starting with the preceding Sunday and ending the following Saturday.
You must give your employer the required notice in order to qualify for OPL. This should be provided by you no later than the end of the 15th week before the EWC. If the notice is provided late then it cannot be disregarded by your employer if it was not reasonably practicable for you to notify your employer in time. However, you must still provide your employer with the requisite notice as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so. If you fail to provide the notice in time and it was reasonably practicable for you to do so then your employer may disregard your notice and it will be left to their discretion whether you are allowed to take ordinary paternity leave.
The notice should provide:
You do not have to give your employer any medical evidence of the pregnancy.
Your employer can request that you provide this notification in writing and that you also provide a written declaration stating that you satisfy the conditions that entitle you to take paternity leave and that you will be taking the time off to support the mother and/or care for the baby.
In addition, you should provide your employer with a further notice as soon as reasonably practicable after the birth of the child, of the date on which the child was born. This can be requested to be in writing.
Eligible employees can choose to take either one or two whole weeks' ordinary paternity leave. They cannot take it as odd days or as two separate weeks.
The duration of OPL remains the same regardless of the number of children resulting from a single pregnancy.
You cannot start your leave until the birth of the baby. Otherwise, you can choose to start your OPL:
If you specify the date of birth as the day you wish to start your OPL and you are at work on that day, then your leave will begin on the next day.
As long as you have given the required notice, your OPL can start on any day of the week. However, it must finish:
You can change the start date so long as you give your employer the following notice:
Your employer can request you to provide this notification in writing. If it is not reasonably practicable for you to give you this notice in time, then it should be given as soon as it becomes reasonably practicable to do so.
If you have chosen to begin your OPL on a particular date and the child is not born on or before that date then you must vary your choice of start date by substituting it to a later predetermined date or one of the above mentioned options. In these circumstances, you should:
Eligible fathers or partners of mothers can take paternity leave of up to 26 weeks (in addition to the two weeks that they are already entitled to under ordinary paternity leave), during the first year of the child's life.
APL can only be taken once the mother has returned to work and the child is over 20 weeks old.
A number of requirements must be satisfied in order for an employee to qualify to take APL, including that the mother has not taken her full entitlement to maternity leave and that she has, or is about to, return to work. Certain other criteria, such as providing minimum notice periods and a written declaration for employers containing compulsory information, will apply.
APL will no longer be available for employees working in England, Wales and Scotland from 5 April 2015, as it'll be replaced with shared parental leave.