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Following the birth of a child or an adoption placement, fathers, spouses and partners/civil partners who are employees have a right to paternity leave and pay, to care for the child or support the mother. From 1st December 2014 parents of a child born to a surrogate mother will be entitled to paternity leave and pay.
[Updated for 2018]
Fathers and partners/civil partners who are workers will not quality for Paternity Leave but may qualify for Paternity Pay (see below). Freelancers, unless they are classed as Workers, are not eligible for either paternity leave or pay.
N.B. A child’s father will not be entitled to Paternity Leave or Pay if he is separated, divorced or living apart from the child’s mother and plays little or no part in the child’s upbringing.
Employees must satisfy the following conditions in order to qualify for paternity leave. They must:
If you are not eligible, you can always ask your Employer if you can take some time off, paid or unpaid, for this purpose.
In January 2015 the Government published an ‘online calculator’ so you can work out what maternity, paternity or shared parental pay you may be entitled to – which you can see here.
You are entitled to return to the same job following paternity leave. A European Court of Justice case in September 2013 (Halliday v Creation Consumer Finance Ltd) found that an employee absent on parental leave could be made redundant, as long as the reason for the dismissal was not the parental leave (this will apply to maternity leave and paternity leave too).
If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues then talk to us at The HR Kiosk – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.
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