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Introduction

“An employee can take 1 to 2 weeks of paternity leave from the day the child is born till 56 days. The paternity pay for 2018-19 and 2019-20 is £145.18 or 90% of average weekly earnings (the one out of these two options is selected whichever is lower). An individual might be eligible for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SHPP) and Shared Parental Leave (SPL) if a UK citizen is adopting a child or having a baby. You can also download form SC3 for claiming statutory paternity leave/pay or fill the form online.”

Paternity Pay leave for 2018-19

UK citizens are eligible to take time off if their partner is having or adopting a baby or child. Citizens are eligible for one or two weeks of paid paternity leave along with paternity pay.

During paternity leave, an individual’s employment rights such as pay rises, return to work policy, and accrued holidays are secure. Citizens are permitted to get time-off to go together with their partner (or in certain cases the surrogate mother) to 2 gynaecological appointments. In case of adoption, an individual can get time-off to be present at 2 appointments for adoption after the concerned couple(s) are matched with a child .

Currently fathers in the UK are entitled for one or two weeks of paid-leave during the initial 56 days of the birth. Due to the changes imposed in 2014 by Nick Clegg, there is additionally a possibility to take between two weeks and 26 supplementary weeks off – each extra week is reduced from the partner's left over provision.

Key points

In the following scenarios, paternity leave is made available to UK employees:

  • In case the concerned person applying for leave will have or is expected to have charge of the child’s upbringing
  • In case the person applying for leave has worked constantly for an employer for 26 weeks completing with the fifteenth (15th) week earlier than the baby is due, or the week completing in which the person adopting the child is informed of being in-line with the child, or the date when the child come into the UK (this is applicable for overseas adoptions)
  • In case the concerned person is the mother's husband or the biological father of the child or the mother’s partner (this will encompass same sex relationships)

Employees in the UK must report to their employer as quickly as about their plan to opt for paternity leave – the message should not be conveyed later than the completion of the 15th week prior to the expected week of childbirth. Employers should be informed about the child’s due date, if the employee is opting for one or a couple of weeks off, and also the date from when the paternity leave is expected to begin. Eligible employees can opt for either a week or a couple of consecutive weeks' compensated paternity leave. Paternity leave can't begin before the birth of the child, however, an employee has to right to avail some annual leave beforehand. Paternity leave period can begin from:

  • The placement date
  • Permitted number of days post the date of placement
  • The day after for surrogate parents or in a normal case, the day the baby is born
  • For overseas adoption, from the date the baby reaches the UK or an agreed number of days after

Paternity pay

Paternity Pay for 2018-19 and 2019-20 is £145.18 or 90% of average weekly earnings (the one out of these two options is selected whichever is lower).

Employees in the UK are eligible for Statutory Paternity Pay (starting Apr-15 the rate are fixed at £139.58 for a week or 90% of an individual’s average weekly earnings, whichever is less). It is the discretion of the employers to give more to an employee and this may be covered under the terms and conditions of employment. Since 2 Apr-17, the rate has been fixed at £140.98.

Also Read

Maternity Allowance

Shared Parental Leave and pay

Shared Parental Leave gives parents in the UK the privilege to opt for the most feasible arrangement to take care for their baby during the initial first year. It empowers qualified parents to evenly distribute the caring or maybe one parent taking the majority of the caring role.

Leave for antenatal appointments

Leave for antenatal appointments

Fathers and partners

Partners, child’s fathers, and civil partners of antenatal woman are permitted to unpaid time off throughout working hours to go along with the antenatal woman to 2 ante-natal appointments. This comprises the envisioned parents if they are having a child through a surrogate motherhood arrangement. There is no lawful right to claim paid time-off in case of antenatal appointments. Nevertheless, employers in the UK may permit this time-off with pay as stated in the terms and conditions of employment, or permit employees in the UK to opt for either swap shifts, consider taking an annual leave, or make-up time with additional working hours.

In case of adoption, the foremost adopter will be eligible to opt for paid time-off for a total of 5 adoption appointments. On the other hand, a secondary adopter will be eligible to opt for unpaid time-off for a total of 2 appointments. The permission to opt for 2 unpaid antenatal appointments is also available for those who become parents through a surrogate motherhood arrangement.

Rights for paternity leave or paternity pay in the UK

In the UK, a ‘to-be-father’ can opt for paternity leave, under an arrangement referred to as shared parental leave (SPL), in case the individual is adopting a child or having a baby. To apply for SPL, it is not necessary for parents to be together, till the time the father is involved in providing taking care of the child. Men, in the UK, should take their paternity leave in chunks, instead of taking all in one go, however, it is mandatory to take leave between the child’s birth and 1st birthday (on the other hand, should be inside one year of adoption). An individual cannot opt for paternity leave prior to a mother giving birth to a child.

In the UK, expecting mothers are anticipated to be on maternity leave until the birth of the child – she will have the option to opt out from maternity leave and switch to SPL. The balance 52-week leave, out of which 13 weeks is unpaid, can later be split among the parents as they choose. Under paternity leave, men are expected to continue working for the same company for a minimum of 11 weeks before the baby is born, and continue to be with the same employer until they take SPL. It is imperative to note that a ‘to-be-father’ must be an employee to meet the requirements, whereas, a woman can either be a freelance worker or self-employed. The expecting woman must have worked for a minimum of 26 weeks in the total 66 weeks prior to giving birth, however, it is not necessary to have this in a row and the expecting woman doesn't have to be working when she gives birth. According to the UK government, most expecting mothers are able to take up-to 39 weeks of definite paid leave.

Women, in the UK, are eligible for up-to one year of leave, with at-least of two weeks post giving birth (in case she works in a factory it is four weeks). For a contracted employee, it is imperative to inform the boss regarding the expected date of birth of the child and from when the leave period would start. At the earliest, a person can begin their leave 11 weeks prior to the due date.

Download form SC3


To avail the paternity pay leave you can download form SC3 and fill up the details.

Download form SC3

Alternatively, you can fill the SC3 form online.

Fill SC3 Form Online

Claim Paternity leave

Paternity leave must be claimed a minimum of 15 weeks prior to the baby is due, and inform the employer about the due date, from when the leave period will begin, for example from the birth day or a week post the birth, or in case a person wants 1 or 2 week's leave. Employers have the right to ask for a letter, enclosing all the details about paternity leave. Also, people can ask for Paternity Pay at the same time, in the bases of form SC3.

Adoption and surrogacy

To be eligible for adoption or surrogacy leave, an individual must have worked for an employer for a minimum of 26 weeks beginning from the ‘matching week’. In case of adoption this is either:

  • The week when the parents are matched with the child
  • For overseas adoption, the date when the child enters the UK

Period of Paternity Leave can begin:

  • The day the child’s born for surrogate parents
  • On the date of placement
  • Decided number of days after the date of match
  • On the date the child arrives in the UK for overseas adoptions

It is imperative to take leave within 56 days of the date of match or the child reaches the UK (overseas adoptions). The employer must be given 28 days’ notice if there are any changes in the date. To claim Paternity Leave or Pay, an individual must use form SC4.

Proof of adoption

An individual must provide the employer proof of adoption in order to be eligible for Paternity Pay. Proof can be the matching certificate or letter received from the adoption agency and this must be provided within 28 days.

Surrogacy arrangements

To be eligible for Paternity Pay and Paternity Leave in case of surrogacy, the concerned people must be:

  • A couple
  • Accountable for the child
  • Continued to have worked for a minimum of 26 weeks before the end of the ‘qualifying week’ which is defined as 15th week prior to when the baby is due

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