Understanding Additional Paternity Leave

Ten weeks on from the government’s introduction of new changes in paternity law, a new survey has revealed that British mums and dads are confused over the new additional paternity leave.
On paper it looks simple. Fathers of babies born on or after 3 April 2011 have the right to take up to 26 weeks’ additional paternity leave if the mother of their child returns to work before the end of her maternity leave.


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But as the study from Ocado discovered, 54% of fathers did not know about additional paternity leave and out of those who did 50% believed it would harm their career prospects if they took it.

Hardly surprising because the whole issue of maternity pay and maternity leave is more complicated than it appears, If you’re confused and attempting to get your head around it these are the key facts you need to know:

• Under the new regulations additional paternity leave of 26 weeks can be taken but not while the mother of your baby is on  maternity leave and claiming maternity pay. And not until your baby is at least 20 weeks old.
• Due to this you will only be entitled to Additional Statutory Paternity Pay for a proportion of your 26 weeks of leave.
• This is because Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is only payable during the period of your partner’s 39 week Maternity  Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay.
• This effectively means if you take leave from when your baby is 20 weeks you will have 19 weeks paid at the statutory rate  (£128.73 per week) and 6 weeks unpaid.
• In order to qualify for APL, you must have been continuously employed for 26 weeks ending with the fifteenth week before the  baby is due.
• To qualify for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay you must be an employed earner.

For more help and information go to Directgov

Has this helped? Comment if you need any more explanations!


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