New ‘Additional Paternity Leave and Pay’ April 2011
A new piece of legislation has been implemented which will affect parents of children born on or after 3rd April 2011.
Currently, fathers are allowed to take up to 2 weeks Statutory Paternity leave (at current SMP rate) within 56 days of the birth of a child, known as ‘Ordinary Paternity Leave’ (OPL).
However, the new Additional Paternity Leave (APL) will give fathers of children born on or after 3rd April 2011, the right to share the maternity leave with the mother of the child, but only if she decides to return from maternity leave early.
The first 20 weeks are solely for maternity leave to be taken by the mother. However, should the mother decide to return to work after this point, the father now has the opportunity to take up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, 19 of which are paid at current SMP rate of £124.88 per week (7 weeks unpaid).
The father may take 26 weeks leave at any time within the period which begins 20 weeks after the birth of the child, but this must end no later than the child’s first birthday.
The child’s mother must have returned to work before the father can begin his period of leave or receive paternity pay. This new provision will provide parents with more choice and flexibility in child care responsibilities and a more equitable sharing of leave entitlements.
Please note that adoption leave mirrors maternity and paternity leave and the change to legislation may also apply to ‘partners’ as well as ‘fathers’.
For more information on this new legislation, please follow the link below: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Moneyandworkentitlements/WorkAndFamilies/Paternityrightsintheworkplace/DG_190788
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