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Paternity leave and pay

The right to take up to two weeks' ordinary paternity leave and pay is available to eligible employees around the time of the birth or adoption of a child.
Until April 2016, those eligible to take ordinary paternity leave whose babies were due before 5 April 2015 were also able to take a period of additional paternity leave once their partner returned to work. Shared parental leave, which can be taken in a more flexible way, has now replaced additional paternity leave for those employees with babies born/children matched for adoption after that date.

Key points

  • Eligible employees are entitled to one or two consecutive weeks' ordinary paternity leave and pay, which from 2 April 2023 is £172.48 per week (see our ‘Statutory rates’ page for historic rates), on the birth or adoption of a child or within up to 56 days' of the birth or adoption.
  • Employees, and qualifying agency workers, are entitled to take unpaid time off to accompany their pregnant partner to up to two ante-natal appointments.
  • Eligible employees may be able to take periods of shared parental leave (and possibly pay) which must be taken within a year of the child's birth or adoption.
  • Employees will lose the right to paternity leave if they take a period of shared parental leave in relation to the child first.


New SPP rate proposed

30 November 2023

In November 2023, the Government proposed to increase key statutory rates from April 2024. Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay are all set to increase from £172.48 to £184.03 per week from April 2024. These increases remain proposals for now; confirmation is awaited. Whilst the Government could amend the proposals, that is highly unlikely.