The new Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024 will come into effect from April 2024. This blog covers what the changes are and how they'll affect you.
What are the current rules?
Currently, fathers or partners who want to take Paternity Leave can take one continuous block of leave, which can either be one week or two weeks long and this leave must be taken within the first eight weeks of the birth of the child.
When the new regulations come into force, paternity leave can be split into two blocks of one week and can be taken at any point in the first year after birth or adoption. The new law will apply to cases where childbirth falls on or after 6th April 2024. Those eligible will need to give 28 days notice of taking leave which is shorter than the current regulations. The changes were originally announced in June 2023 as a response to a consultation as part of the government's Good WorkPlan.
Why are things changing?
The Government is keen to ensure that there is greater equity for parenting in the workplace and whilst they acknowledge that these changes aren't necessarily radical reforms, they represent a step in the right direction. Campaigners have called for 6 weeks of paternity leave instead of the current two as well as increases to the rate of paternity pay.
Is Paternity Leave Paid?
The short answer is yes. Those taking Paternity Leave will be entitled to a payment at the relevant statutory rate, you can see what that is here, https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave/pay Some organisations provide enhanced paternity leave payments, so check in with your employer in case they have chosen to pay out more.
How do I apply?
Most organisations will have an established internal process for applying for Paternity Leave, speak to your HR department or relevant manager as they might want to you complete a form.
2024 will see a few new changes including Carer's Leave and changes to the way in which people can request flexible working, check out our blog for more information on the standout employment law changes coming this year here https://www.taphr.co.uk/post/upcoming-uk-employment-law-changes-in-2024 If video is more your thing you can check out this short video on YouTube for the key facts:
Check out the resources available from Citizens Advice to learn more about your parental rights.
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All information within the post is provided for guidance only; always seek your own legal advice.
The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, January 2024 but may be subject to change.