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Paternity Leave Package (Birth)

January 2011

In April 2011 the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 will take effect and qualifying employees will be able to take a period of Additional Paternity Leave (APL) of up to 26 weeks. However, the qualifying employee can only take APL 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.

Simply-docs has created a set of documents for use when an employee wishes to take a period of APL as their wife, civil partner or partner is expecting a child. Next month, we will bring out a similar package for use when an employee wishes to take a period of APL in respect of an adoption.

Our Paternity Leave Policy has been updated to include the new regulations for APL in respect of employees whose partners are expecting a baby. The right to request APL will apply in respect of babies due on or after 3 April 2011. The Paternity Leave Policy (Birth) covers both Ordinary Paternity Leave and Additional Paternity Leave but the rules for Ordinary Paternity Leave have not changed. The Paternity Leave Policy (Birth) package also includes the template letters, leave notice and declarations shown on the right.

These new provisions for Additional Paternity Leave should not be confused with recent discussion in the press about Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s plans for a further increase in the period of paternity leave. The Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 are in force and do apply to babies born on or after 3 April 2011 and under these Regulations the APL period is up to 26 weeks. The recent press coverage is in respect of the government’s plans to consult on what Mr Clegg has described as “a properly flexible system of shared parental leave” that the government aims to introduce in 2015.

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.

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