If your partner is expecting a baby, adopting a baby or having a baby through surrogacy we’ll help ensure your employer respects your right to paternity leave

  • Your employer should respect your legal rights if you are entitled to paternity leave.
  • Sometimes an employer may try to avoid allowing you paternity leave, may not pay you what you are legally owed during paternity leave or may discriminate against you if you take paternity leave.
  • If this happens, you should take legal advice. Our employment law experts will assess your situation and help ensure you benefit from everything you are entitled to.

You are entitled to paternity leave if:

  • you are the husband or partner (including same-sex partner or registered civil partner) of the baby’s mother, the biological father or the adopter of the child;
  • you have been employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks, by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due (in birth cases) or ending with the week in which the child’s adopter is notified that they have been matched with a child (in adoption cases);
  • you have responsibility for the child’s upbringing and want to take time off to care for the child or support the mother (if you are the child’s biological father) or you have main responsibility for the child’s upbringing and want to take time off to care for the child or support the mother (if you have adopted a child, are married to, the civil partner of or the partner of the child’s mother); and
  • you have given your employer the correct notice to take paternity leave.

Paternity leave is not as extensive as maternity leave. Usually you are entitled to one or two weeks paid Ordinary Paternity Leave (but only after the birth, not before). However, if your wife or partner goes back to work soon after having the baby, you could qualify for shared parental leave.

You should receive the statutory minimum pay during your Paternity Leave. It’s possible your employer may try not to honour your legal right to paternity leave or may not pay you what you are legally owed. They might discriminate against you by changing your terms of employment or not considering you for a pay rise or promotion if you’ve taken paternity leave.

If you believe your employer is in breach of any of your statutory rights or has discriminated against you, please contact us. We will assess your position and talk you through all your options, so you can enjoy the arrival of your new child, without worry.

Our expert team work across our offices in Southampton, London, Guildford, Richmond, Woking and Lymington and offer specialist employment law support to clients nationwide. Contact us for more information on how we can help.