Parental Leave: How does paternity leave work in the United Kingdom?

Article author
Mika Komatsuzaki
  • Updated

Here’s how paternity leave works in the United Kingdom:

  • Employees are entitled to either 1 or 2 weeks of paid parental leave. The statutory weekly rate for Paternity Pay is 156.66 GBP, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).
  • Employees get the same amount of leave if the partner has a multiple birth (such as twins).
    • Tax and National Insurance will be deducted from the pay, and this will be paid in the same way as the wages, for example, monthly or weekly.
  • To be entitled to paternity leave, the employee must:
    • be employed up to the date of birth.
    • earn at least 123 GBP a week (before tax).
    • claim paternity Leave and pay through Remote at least 15 weeks before the baby is due. You can do this by filling out the online form. You can use the employer’s own form if they have one.
    • have been continuously employed without a break by the employer for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the ‘qualifying week’. The ‘qualifying week’ is the 15th week before the baby is due.
  • Leave cannot start before the birth. It must end within 56 days of the birth (or due date if the baby is early).
  • Employees must take the leave in one go. A week is the same amount of days that the employee normally works in a week. For example, a week is 2 days if the employee only works on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Employees do not have to give an exact date of when they intend to take leave. Instead, the employee can give a general time, such as the day of the birth or 1 week after the birth.
    • Employees must give the employer 28 days’ notice to change the leave start date.

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