The Paternity Leave and Pay Scheme explains both statutory and contractual adoption leave and pay benefits. A wide range of legislation governs paternity leave and pay. Most of the relevant legislation can be found consolidated into the Employment Act 2002, the Work and Families Act 2006, The Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 and the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010. The University will pay Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) to all employees who are eligible to receive it. Further information can be found at http://www.bis.gov.uk/.
Scope of Policy
The Policy applies to all employees, across all grades and groups including academic and non-academic, fixed term and part time hourly paid lecturers, part time and full time, permanent and temporary. It can also apply to those temporarily associated with the University (e.g., wardens, Students Union, Agency Workers) if appropriate.
- Comply with the requirements of the Paternity Leave and Pay Scheme
- Ensure that any application for paternity leave and/or pay is made in accordance with this scheme and any statutory requirements
- Cooperate with management in the execution of their duties and responsibilities in relation to this scheme.
- Understand the Paternity Leave and Pay Scheme, and related procedures, attending appropriate training as required
- Ensure that employees are aware of the Paternity Leave and Pay Scheme
- Manage any requests received under this scheme in accordance with the requirements of the scheme
- Remain in regular and reasonable contact with the employee for the duration of the additional paternity leave period
Advice and support on maintaining contact during the additional paternity leave period will be given by HR
- Ensure that the Paternity Leave and Pay Scheme is kept up to date and in particular reflects any changes to entitlement
- Provide training, coaching, advice, guidance and support as appropriate
- Acknowledge, process and administer any request received and made in accordance with this scheme
An employee who is due to become a father, or will be responsible with a spouse, partner or civil partner for bringing up a child, may be entitled to 'Ordinary Paternity Leave' of up to two weeks. In addition if their partner returns to work before the end of their maternity/adoption leave period, they may also be eligible to take up to 26 weeks' 'Additional Paternity Leave'. This policy explains both the statutory and contractual provisions available to employees of the University.
An employee may qualify for for paternity leave if either:
- they are the biological father of the child
- their wife, partner or civil partner is pregnant and due to give birth to a child
- they and their partner receive notification that they are matched with a child for adoption
- their spouse, partner or civil partner adopts a child from overseas.
They must also have been employed continuously by the University for at least 26 weeks by either:
- the end of the 15th week before the week in which the baby is due
- the end of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption
- the week in which their child enters Great Britain for the purposes of adoption (if adopting from overseas).
Ordinary Paternity Leave
The employee may take either one of two weeks' Ordinary Paternity Leave, but it cannot be taken as odd days and, if two weeks are taken, they must be taken together.
A 'week' is based on the employee's normal working pattern (e.g. if they work Monday/Tuesday only, a 'week' will be two days, or if they work Monday to Friday, a 'week' would be five days. The leave may start on any day of the week, but not before the baby is born or the actual date of placement for adoption, and must finish within 56 days of the baby's birth or the actual date of placement.
If the employee's partner has a multiple birth, only one period of ordinary paternity leave is allowed.
The employee must give written notice at least 15 weeks before the week in which the baby is due, or within 7 days of being notified they have been matched with a child for adoption. They must also tell the University:
- When the baby is due, or the child is expected to be placed for adoption
- When they intend to commence Ordinary Paternity Leave
- Whether they wish to take one or two weeks' Ordinary Paternity Leave
If it is not possible to give the full notice for a valid reason (e.g. the baby is born early, or the adoption agency doesn't notify the employee soon enough), the employee should still give as much notice as possible.
Additional Paternity Leave
As well as their entitlement to up to two weeks' Ordinary Paternity Leave, the employee will be entitled to up to 26 week' Additional Paternity Leave, if their partner had returned to work. The leave may start from 20 weeks after their child is born, placed for adoption, or enters the UK (for overseas adoptions), and must end no later than the child's first birthday, or one year after the child was placed for adoption or entered the UK.
To qualify, the employee must be taking the time off to care for the child, and the child's mother or adopter must have:
- been entitled to one or more of the following - Statutory Maternity Leave or Pay, Maternity Allowance, or Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay;
- started working again, so that any relevant leave and/or pay has stopped.
The employee must give at least 8 weeks' written notice that they wish to take Additional Paternity Leave. They must also tell the University:
- when the baby was due, or the date they were matched for adoption
- the actual date of the baby's birth, or actual date of placement for adoption/entry into the UK for adoption
- when they wish to start and finish their Additional Paternity Leave
They must also confirm:
- that they are taking the leave to care for the child
- that they are the father of the child, or the spouse, partner or civil partner of the mother or adopter
- their relationship with the child
The child's mother, or adopter who has taken adoption leave, must also sign a written declaration, proving certain information.
The University has application forms (see below) to simplify this notification process.
The University will then write to the employee within 28 days to confirm the arrangements for their leave. At this stage, they may be asked to provide a copy of the child's birth certificate, or adoption matching certificate, and employment details of the mother, or adopter who has taken adoption leave.
Applying for Paternity Leave
To apply for Ordinary Paternity Leave, the employee should complete the relevant application form and pass it to their line manager. The manager must receive this within the timescales detailed in paragraph 4.1. Click here for the Ordinary Paternity Leave application form.
To apply for Additional Paternity Leave, the employee should complete an Additional Paternity Leave application form (click here), and pass it to their manager at least 8 weeks in advance of the date they wish to begin their leave.
Ordinary Paternity Pay
For those eligible to take Ordinary Paternity Leave, this is on normal pay for up to two weeks.
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) may also be due during some or all of the Additional Paternity Leave period, depending on the length and timing of the leave. The employee must meet the qualifying conditions set in paragraph 4 and 4.2, and also earn above the lower earnings limit for national insurance (click here for current rates).
The mother or adopter must have returned to work and any relevant payments being made to that person must have stopped, with at least two weeks of the 39 week payment period for statutory maternity/adoption pay or maternity allowance remaining. ASPP is only payable during the remaining part of their partner's 39 week pay period. The employee must also intend to care for the child during their ASPP period.
Any period of Additional Paternity Leave taken beyond their partner's 39 week pay period is unpaid.
Time off for Antenatal Appointments
An employee who has been continuously employed by the University for one year is entitled to a half day's paid leave to attend a specific antenatal appointment with their partner.
Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days
During a period of leave it is often helpful to keep in touch. Both the employee and the University are entitled to make reasonable contact from time to time.
An employee may also attend work on up to 10 occasions during Additional Paternity Leave, without losing any ASPP, or brining the leave period to an end. These are known as 'keeping in touch' days. Although useful to attend training or team events, they may be used for any form of work that helps in keeping up to date and maintaining skills and confidence levels.
Each full or part day will be counted as one of the 10 occasions; however claims can only be made to be paid for the actual number of hours worked, which will be at the employee's normal hourly rate. Any days worked will not extend the Additional Paternity Leave period. To generate a payment for any 'keeping in touch' days, the employee's line manager will need to notify the HR team of the day(s) attended, and numbers of hours worked, within 7 working days.
Returning to Work
After ordinary paternity leave an employee is entitled to return to work to the same job on the same terms and conditions as they had not been absent.
After additional paternity leave an employee is entitled to return on the same terms and conditions as if they had not been absent. However, if there is some reason why this is not reasonably practicable they will be offered a similar job on terms and conditions not less favourable than their original job.
If the employee wishes to return to work earlier than the expected return date, they must give the University at least six weeks' notice of their date of early return, preferably in writing. If they fail to do so, the return may be postponed to such a data as will give the University six weeks' notice (provided that this is not later than the expected return date).
During the period of Additional Paternity Leave, the employee's contract remains in force and they continue to receive all contractual benefits, except for salary. Annual leave entitlement continues to accrue, however any leave that is accumulated must normally be taken at the end of the Additional Paternity Leave period, i.e. before returning to work.
Pension contributions will continue to be made during any period when the employee is receiving paternity pay, but not during any period of unpaid Additional Paternity Leave.
Employees on Additional Paternity Leave are entitled to be made aware of job vacancies at the University. The University recruitment web pages are updated daily and, unless otherwise notified, it is assumed that employees are checking vacancies regularly.
If an employee decides not to return to work following additional paternity leave, written notice should be given as per their contract before the employee is due to return to work. Unless otherwise agreed the leaving date will be the date on which the notice period ends, or in circumstances where notice is not given, the date on which the resignation is received by the University. Where the leaving date falls before the end of the balance of the 39 week additional statutory pay period, any remaining entitlement to ASPP will be paid as a single lump sum. However, the employee must notify the University immediately of any circumstance(s) which will result in the statutory obligation to pay ASPP transferring or ceasing (e.g. starting work for another employer, travelling abroad outside the EU).
Last updated: March 2015