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Last reviewed on 11 June 2021
Ref: 1797
School types: All · School phases: All

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.

Paternity pay and paternity leave have different eligibilities

To qualify for paternity leave, someone must:

  • Be an employee, and 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:

  • Be employed up to the due date, and have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the time the due date is 15 weeks away (the ‘qualifying week’)
  • Earn at least £120 per week before tax
  • Notify their employer at least 15 weeks before the due date

You can read more about working out the ‘qualifying week’ on the GOV.UK website.

New fathers can choose to take either 1 or 2 weeks of paternity leave. This is true whether their partner has a single or multiple births (such

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