Dads have rights too!
Wondering what paternity leave rights your partner has after your new baby is born, and if you can transfer any of your maternity leave to him?
At a glance
- Dads can take 1-2 weeks paid paternity leave
- If mum decides to go back to work early, dad can take up to 26 weeks paid leave
- Employment rights are fully protected during paternity leave
Just like mums, dads have various rights in the workplace when they have a new baby.
Although dads do not have the right to paid time off before their baby is born, (such as for antenatal appointments) if they have been with their current employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due, they are entitled to paternity leave.
What he can claim
There are two types of leave for dads - 1 or 2 weeks paid Ordinary Paternity Leave and up to 26 weeks’ paid Additional Paternity Leave (if mum decides to return to work).
Your partner will need to take all his Ordinary Paternity Leave in one go, and it must end within 56 days of your baby being born. A week is calculated in terms of the days he would usually work (so if his working days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then his 'week' would consist of three days).
If you decide to return to work before your maternity leave has ended, your partner could be able to take Additional Paternity Leave of between 2 and 26 weeks, depending on how much unused maternity leave you have left over. This leave can start 20 weeks after the birth if you choose to return to work, but must stop on the baby's first birthday.
Dads whose employers have implemented a company paternity scheme might get a more generous amount of leave than the statutory amount, but they can't be offered less.
What his rights are
It's also worth remembering that while your partner is off work on paternity leave, their employment rights are fully protected, and legally, they cannot miss out on pay rises or accrued holiday. You can find out more about paternity pay and leave on the government website.