Paternity leave and pay

Eligible employees are entitled to statutory paternity pay and leave. Read government guidance on your responsibilities as an employer, as well as expert advice on fitting paternity leave around school holidays.

Last reviewed on 10 June 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 1797
  1. Paternity pay and paternity leave have different eligibilities
  2. Paternity leave is 1 or 2 weeks
  3. Statutory paternity pay
  4. Paternity leave and pay for adoption
  5. You may choose to let employees split paternity leave
  6. Employees may request shared parental leave

Paternity pay and paternity leave have different eligibilities

Paternity leave applies to:

  • The father of the child
  • The mother’s husband or partner (this includes same-sex partners)
  • The child’s legal adopter (who is not taking adoption pay and leave)
  • The intended parent in a surrogacy arrangement

To qualify for paternity leave, someone must:

  • Be an employee, and have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the time the due date is 15 weeks away (the ‘qualifying week’)
  • Notify their employer at least 15 weeks before the due date

To qualify for paternity pay, someone must:

The rules are different for parents who adopt – we cover this in a dedicated