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Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is a provision that enables you to take leave in addition to your annual leave entitlement allowing you to support your partner, help share the childcare responsibilities and spend quality time with your new child. Paternity Leave allows new parents to take up to 2 weeks paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

You will be entitled to take Paternity leave if:

  • Your wife, civil partner or partner gives birth to a child or you are the biological father of the child and you have 26 weeks’ continuous service by the 15 week before the week in which the child is expected OR
  • You are an adoptive parent of a newly matched or placed child and have 26 week’s continuous service by the end of the week in which you are notified of being matched with your child. The adoptive parent may take Paternity leave where the other adoptive parent has elected to take adoption leave AND
  • You will be fully involved in the child’s upbringing and are taking the time off to support the mother/father or carer for the baby.

Line Managers must ensure that all employees are aware of the procedure for notifying and applying for paternity leave in their Departments.

How to apply for paternity leave

You are responsible for ensuring that you follow the correct notification process.  All absences should be covered by a MATB1 certificate which is provided to the pregnant partner by the Midwife/Doctor at around 20 weeks into the pregnancy or Matching Certificate supplied by the Adoption Agency.

You should inform your manager and the Absence Team by completing the application form no later than the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC)/child’s placement or as soon as reasonably practicable.  It is recognised that in many cases it will be difficult to predict exactly when the leave is required, but staff wishing to take Paternity Leave should inform their Line Manager as soon as possible of the likely dates of their absence.

Within individual conditions of service, and subject to all qualifying conditions (see paternity pay flowchart), the basic provisions applying to leave and pay are as follows:

  • Paternity leave of up to a maximum of 2 weeks
  • Paternity leave must be taken within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child/child’s placement or, when the child is born earlier than expected, between the date of birth and 56 days from the first day of the EWC.
  • Paternity pay comprises of two parts – either one to two consecutive weeks (but not two separate weeks or odd days)
  • A right to return to work on conditions no less favourable than those which would have been applied if the leave had not been taken.
  • Employees who have a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or an expected child are entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany that pregnant woman at up to two antenatal appointments.

To qualify for statutory paternity pay you must:

Have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due or in the case of adoption, the end of the week in which the adopter is notified of being matched with a child - the qualifying week is the week beginning with the Sunday that the adopter received notification of having been matched with the child and ends on the following Saturday.

  • Have average weekly earnings in the 8 weeks at the end of the qualifying week equal to the lower earnings limit (LEL) i.e. LEL for a child being matched will be £120 a week.
  • give 28 days’ notice of your intention to claim paternity pay (where practicable)

Option 1 - Employees with less than 26 weeks service at the beginning of the 15th week before the baby is due or leading into the week in which the adopter is notified of being matched with a child will not be entitled to take paternity leave but will be entitled to maternity/adoption support leave and pay as detailed below:

  • 1 week Maternity/Adoption Support Leave (1 week with normal pay)

Option 2 - Employees with at least 26 weeks continuous service and earn at least £120 (gross) at the 15th week before the EWC or leading into the week in which the adopter is notified of being matched with a child will be entitled to a choice of up to two weeks paternity leave/pay as follows:

  • 1 weeks paternity leave/pay consisting of 1 week Maternity/Adoption Support Leave (1 week with normal pay with Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP) offset) and 1 week OSPP at £151.97 SPP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less) OR
  • 1 week Maternity Support Leave (1 week with normal pay with OSPP offset) (This will apply when an employee does not elect to take week 2 of the Statutory Paternity Leave/Pay).

If one week only is taken this is offset against your full pay and full pay is received.

If two weeks are taken the first week is paid at full pay and the second week involves an average weekly earnings deducted and SPP of £151.97 is paid in its place.

Paternity pay can only be paid while the employee is on paternity leave. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

The earliest paternity leave can commence is the actual date of birth of the child or following the child’s placement but must be completed within 56 days of the actual date of birth or the child’s placement.

You may change the commencement date provided you give at least 28 days’ notice of the new start date (unless this is not reasonably practicable). Please advise your line manager and the Absence Team in writing.

If your child is born early, you may still be eligible for paternity leave/pay as long as you have worked continuously for at least 26 weeks by the expected week of childbirth.

Employees and agency workers who have a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or an expected child are entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany that pregnant woman at up to two antenatal /adoption appointments. 

You will have the right from day one of your employment.  Agency workers will qualify after 12 weeks in the same assignment. The right to time off is capped at a maximum of six-and-a-half hours on each occasion, which can include travelling time, waiting time and attendance.

An employee or agency worker has a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or the expected child if they:

  • is the husband or civil partner of the pregnant woman;
  • In the case of adoption you must be married to the child’s primary adopter or be the civil partner or partner of the primary adopter and must have been matched with the child for adoption
  • lives with the pregnant woman in an enduring family relationship, but is not her parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle;
  • is the father of the expectant child; or
  • is an intended parent in a surrogacy situation who meets certain conditions.

If miscarriage or stillbirth occurs from the 25th week onwards or should the baby not survive following its birth, you may be entitled to receive paternity leave and pay in the usual way.

If you contribute to the Authority’s Pension Scheme, whilst on paid Paternity Leave you will pay contributions based on your actual earnings and your period of paid Paternity Leave will count towards your pensionable service in the normal way.

During a period of unpaid leave, your pension will be in a suspended mode. On your return to work you are able to reinstate any ‘lost pension’ arising from a period of unpaid leave by paying additional contributions under an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) arrangement. In order to do so, you will need to make an election to re-instate your lost pension within 30 days of returning to work.  

During the year after the birth or adoption of your child, you will be able to share up to 50 weeks’ parental leave and 37 weeks’ pay. As long as we agree, you can even take the leave in up to three separate blocks, allowing you to switch arrangements if you need to.  Please refer to the Shared Parental Leave Policy.

This booklet helps you to raise children bilingually in Carmarthenshire. It explains what bilingualism is and what the benefits of being multilingual are. It also provides useful information on how to introduce the Welsh language to your children and what routes are available for them to follow to become bilingual individuals, fluent in both Welsh and English.

Whatever language you speak at home,bringing your child up bilingually can give your child additional opportunities, experiences and skills.

Go to 'Being Bilingual in Carmarthenshire' to find out more.

Page updated: 08/04/2021 13:02:01