MyBump2Baby recognises that pregnancy can be a stressful time and it’s often hard to know where you can find accurate information. That’s why we’ve brought you this Ultimate Guide to Paternity Leave in the UK. A lot of parents are unaware of their rights on paternity leave, so we hope that this quick read covers all of your questions.
Your Ultimate Guide to Paternity Leave in the UK
Pregnancy is a milestone that both parents share. When this life event showers you both with radiance and a newfound sense of priority, it’s easy to drop things out of your life to focus on parenthood.
For a mum, this is the start of beautiful discoveries and sleepless nights of pondering. On the other hand, this is the moment for a dad to muster up his courage and work twice or even thrice as hard as before. When adult responsibilities pile in, and work doesn’t seem to stop, as a dad-to-be, you have one card to use to cherish such precious moments.
We’re talking about your right to paternity leave. But, how much do you know about this and are you eligible for one? Let’s find out.
Proof of Responsibility as the Father
In this societal dynamic, there is more than one way of being a child’s father. You have to be proven to be responsible for the child’s upbringing through the following options:
- You are the biological father of the child.
- Your partner is about to have a baby (for unmarried couples), adopting a baby or will be having a child through the process of surrogacy.
Checking for Eligibility from the Employer
After proving that you are bound to the responsibilities of parenthood, it’s now time to assess if you are legally bound by the law to be granted with paternity leave.
- You are legally identified as an employee.
- You worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before your partner’s childbirth.
Notifying Your Employer
It is recommended that you take notes of the following and have them prepared in writing as a formal correspondence when informing your employer about your paternity leave.
- Tell your employer when childbirth is anticipated.
- Assess if you want a one-week or two-week paternity leave.
- The starting date for your paternity leave.
To help you as well, notifying your employer about the intended paternity leave should happen before the 15th week from your baby is due.
Surrogacy, Adoption and Same-sex Parents
For this particular portion of this article, we’re going to delve further into the unconventional ways of being endowed with the responsibility of being a father.
- Same-sex parents can still be granted paternity leave. One partner will apply for an adoption leave or maternity leave while the other partner tries for paternity leave.
- If you’re having a baby through surrogacy, the other partner will apply for an adoption leave while the dad-to-be applies for paternity leave.
For those that will adopt a child, you can be granted with a paternity leave by noting these factors:
- You have worked for the same employer for a minimum of 26 weeks before the end of the week when you have been notified that you’ve been matched with a child (adoption within the UK).
- You have worked for the same employer for a minimum of 26 weeks before the end of the week just in time when the adopted child will enter the country (for overseas adoption.
Now that we’ve given you a quick guide for everything about paternity leaves, we hope that as a dad-to-be, you use this time to build life-long connections and moments with your family.
If you have any more questions about this topic, jot it down on the comments section below, and we’ll do our best to help!
Hi, I’m Emma and I’m MyBump2aby’s family law, protection and financial editor. I’m passionate about better-informing parents on their choices when it comes to family law and family protection and financial matters.