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White Horse Employment and Professional Resources

Issue 49, February, 2011

All Change for Families
Government pushes ahead with shared maternity leave from April 2011

Additional Paternity LeaveFollowing the recent announcements by the Coalition on 17th January with regards to additional paternity leave, we have put together a brief guide on the forthcoming changes. Read Nick Clegg's announcement on the BBC website.

Additional Paternity Leave & Pay
Comes into force

1) Employees who are fathers, or spouses or partners of mothers, of children with an expected week of birth beginning on or after 3rd April 2011, and;

2) Employees who have been matched for adoption on or after 3rd April 2011 and are spouses or partners of the person taking adoption leave,

will be allowed up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave if the mother returns to work before using her full entitlement to statutory maternity leave.

In effect, the employee taking additional paternity leave "takes over" the period of maternity leave or adoption leave.

What does this mean in the Birth Situation?

An employee who qualifies for additional paternity leave can take between two and 26 weeks’ additional leave in the period that begins 20 weeks after the child is born and ends one year after the birth. N.B. The child’s mother’s period of maternity leave must have come to an end.

What does that mean in an Adoption Situation?

An employee who qualifies for additional paternity leave can take between two and 26 weeks’ leave in the period that begins 20 weeks after the child’s placement for adoption and ends one year after the placement.

Additional paternity leave in relation to adoption from overseas must be taken in the period that begins 20 weeks after the child enters Great Britain and ends one year after that date. N.B. The employee’s partner’s statutory adoption leave must have come to an end.

What else do I need to know?

With regards to pay, the statutory amount is paid by default, unless the contract you have with your employee stipulates a more generous payment. Click here for information on statutory rates applicable from April 2011.

Additional paternity leave must be taken as one continuous period, in multiples of complete weeks.

The employee must give the employer at least eight weeks’ notice of his or her start and finish dates for the additional paternity leave.

If the child’s mother, or the other adoptive parent, dies in the first year of the child’s life, the additional paternity leave can begin at any time after the death and last until the child’s first birthday.

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