POSTED: November 21 2023
Father's Statutory Rights

A Father’s Statutory Rights

Employees in the workplace are entitled to an array of leave when becoming a parent. Here we take a look below at the different leaves available for Fathers, the eligibility and the statutory amounts:

Statutory Paternity leave and Pay (SPP):
Where an employee has been employed for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the qualifying week, which is the 15th week before the baby is due – this is different if adopting – employees may be eligible for this if the meet certain conditions such as if they and their partner are:

  • Having a baby
  • Adopting a child
  • Having a baby through surrogacy

Employees can choose to take either one or two consecutive weeks leave in blocks of time – (the amount of time is the same even if they have more than one child for example twins.

Leave cannot start before the birth and the leave must start after the actual birth or expected week of childbirth.

SPP is payable at HMRC’s standard rate of SPP which may change each Tax year or 90% of their average weekly earnings if this lower.

Certain employment types such as directors, and agency workers may have different rules for entitlement.
Employees may be entitled to extra leave or pay if your company has a Contractual paternity policy or if you arrange with the other parent to arrange Shared parental leave with your employers this means the other parent going back to work in order to transfer the shared leave.

Shared Parental pay and Leave (ShPP)
Where an employee has been employed for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the qualifying week, which is the 15th week before the baby is due and subject to other qualifying criterion, employees may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if they’ve had a baby or adopted a child.

SPL and ShPP must be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday (or within 1 year of adoption). SPL and ShPP are only available in England, Scotland and Wales.

To qualify for SPL, your employee must share responsibility for the child with one of the following:

  • their husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
  • the child’s other parent
  • their partner (if they live with them)

Your employee or their partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave, adoption pay or leave or Maternity Allowance. They must also:

  • still be employed by you while they take SPL
  • give you the correct notice including a declaration that their partner meets the employment and income requirements which allow your employee to get SPL
  • have been continuously employed by you for at least 26 weeks up to any day of the ‘qualifying week’, or the week they are matched with a child for adoption in the UK
  • The ‘qualifying week’ is the 15th week before the baby is due.

If an employee is eligible and they or their partner end maternity or adoption leave and pay (or Maternity Allowance) early, then they can:

  • take the rest of the 52 weeks of leave (up to a maximum of 50 weeks) as Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
  • take the rest of the 39 weeks of pay (up to a maximum of 37 weeks) as Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

A mother must take a minimum of 2 weeks’ maternity leave following the birth (4 if she works in a factory).
ShPP is paid at the rate of £172.48 a week or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Leave for antenatal appointments
From the start of employment, employees can take unpaid leave to accompany a pregnant woman to antenatal appointments if they are:

  • the baby’s father
  • the expectant mother’s spouse or civil partner
  • in a long term relationship with the expectant mother
  • the intended parent (if they’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement)

They can accompany the woman to 2 appointments of up to 6 and a half hours each.

Parental rights are quite complex and there are numerous steps to take to ensure that you comply with employment legislation surrounding these issues and the HR and Payroll teams at advo are more than happy to assist you with your queries.

Here are some helpful links to help you:’re%20a%20baby’s,of%201%20or%202%20weeks.