Additional Paternity Leave
In April 2011 the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 will come into force and qualifying employees will be able to take a period of Additional Paternity Leave of up to 26 weeks. However, the qualifying employee can only take Additional Paternity Leave if that employee’s wife or partner has not taken their full maternity leave entitlement. So, in effect, the period of maternity leave entitlement can now be shared between both partners.
Key Aspects Of Additional Paternity Leave (Birth)
For an employee to qualify for Additional Paternity Leave (APL) they must be the father of the baby or the husband or partner (including same-sex or civil partner) of a woman who is due to give birth on or after 3 April 2011. They must have the main responsibility for the baby’s upbringing (apart from any responsibility that the mother has), and be taking time off to care for the baby. They must have worked continuously for the Company for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (the qualifying week), and continue to work for the Company from the qualifying week until the week before the employee wishes to take APL.
A qualifying employee can take a minimum of 2 weeks up to a maximum of 26 weeks of APL to care for their baby. APL is only available to qualifying employees if the mother is entitled to statutory maternity leave, statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance. The mother must also have returned to work before the APL starts. This means that the mother will, in effect, have a period of statutory maternity leave remaining untaken that is equivalent to or greater than the period of APL. The employee can start their APL any time from 20 weeks after the baby is born, and the APL must have finished by the baby's first birthday.
The employee must inform their employer in writing of their intention to take APL at least 8 weeks before the start of the APL. The employee must give written notice to the employer in the form of a Leave Notice, an Employee Declaration and a Mother Declaration.
The Employee Declaration and the Mother Declaration are official declarations and must be signed by the employee and the mother of the child respectively. In essence, these declarations set out all the elements that the individuals must comply with in order to be eligible for APL and the individuals sign the declarations to confirm that they have complied. By way of example, in the Mother Declaration she must declare the date that she intends to return to work. Simply-docs will create appropriate templates for the Leave Notice, the Employee Declaration and the Mother Declaration.
Within 28 days after receiving the Leave Notice and declarations the employer can request certain further information from the employee in support of the employee’s claim for APL. Simply-docs will also create standard letters to use for each stage of this process.
To reflect the new regulations Simply-docs will be adding various new policies and related documents to the site over the next few months as follows:
January Newsletter - Paternity Leave Policy (Birth)
For our January Newsletter we will bring out a new version of our Paternity Leave Policy, which will be updated to include the new regulations for Additional Paternity Leave in respect of employees whose partners are expecting a baby. This policy will be called “Paternity Leave Policy (Birth)”. The right to Additional Paternity Leave will apply in respect of babies due on or after 3 April 2011. The Paternity Leave Policy (Birth) will cover both Ordinary Paternity Leave and Additional Paternity Leave but the rules for Ordinary Paternity Leave have not changed. The Paternity Leave Policy (Birth) package will also include relevant template letters, notice and declarations.
February Newsletter – Paternity Leave Policy (UK Adoption) and Paternity Leave Policy (Non-UK Adoption)
For our February Newsletter we will create two new policies relating to adoption as although the eligibility and notification requirements for employers and employees are similar for birth and adoption there are certain important differences. There are also differences when adopting a child from the UK and from overseas. The right to Additional Paternity Leave will apply to employees who have been notified of having been matched for adoption on or after 3 April 2011. As above, these adoption policies will apply for both Ordinary Paternity Leave and Additional Paternity Leave, although Ordinary Paternity Leave rules have not changed.
The Paternity Leave Policy (UK Adoption) and Paternity Leave Policy (Non-UK Adoption) packages will also include relevant template letters, notices and declarations.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.