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2 Employment - updated version available December '16
14. Can I take leave as a new Father?
You can take either one or two weeks' paternity leave and receive paternity pay if you are:
You may also be able to take paternity leave if you are an adoptive parent as long as you are not taking adoption leave.
You must also:
Your employer can ask you to provide a 'self-certificate' (a signed declaration) to prove you are entitled to the paternity leave. You do this by filling in form SC3, 'Becoming a Parent', which you can get from HMRC - see 'Further help' for details.
When can I take the leave?
However, your leave must have finished within:
You can take only one period of leave at a time, no matter how many children are born or adopted at the same time. (Having twins does not mean you can take two periods of leave.) You cannot have both paternity and adoption leave.
What pay can I receive during paternity leave?
During or before the 15th week before your child is expected to be born or adopted (or as soon as reasonably practical) you must tell your employer:
You can change the date you want your paternity leave (and SPP) to start by giving your employer 28 days' notice (unless this is really not possible). Your employer can insist that you give them written notice of when you want to take paternity leave.
During your leave, you are entitled to your normal terms and conditions of employment, except for the ones relating to wages and salary (because this is when you are receiving SPP). Any contractual paternity pay (that is, pay you receive under your employment contract) will reduce the SPP you receive. The law says you must not be treated unfairly or dismissed for taking or wanting to take paternity leave.
At the end of your paternity leave, you are entitled to return to the job you had before. This also applies where paternity leave is followed by parental leave of four weeks or less.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Ian Hunter, Head of the Employment Department, Bird & Bird, Solicitors.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: January 2016
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