When it comes to the arrival of a new baby, fathers play an essential role in supporting their partner and bonding with their child. To ensure that fathers in the UK have the opportunity to spend quality time with their newborn and support their growing family, paternity pay is available. In this blog post, we will explain everything you need to know about paternity pay in the UK, including eligibility, duration, and the benefits it provides.
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) is a financial benefit provided by the government to fathers or partners who are on leave to care for their newborn child. Here’s what you need to know about SPP:
To be eligible for SPP, you must meet the following requirements:
- You should be an employee, not self-employed
- You must have continuously worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirt
- You should still be employed by the same employer up to the date of birth
SPP Duration and Pay
SPP can be taken for up to 2 weeks and can be claimed any time after the birth of your child up to 56 days after birth. During the 2-week period, you will receive either £151.97 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).
To claim SPP, you must inform your employer at least 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. This notice should include the due date, the date on which you want to start your paternity leave, and a self-certification stating your eligibility for SPP.
Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is a flexible option that allows eligible parents to share childcare responsibilities. SPL enables both parents to take time off work to bond with their child and manage childcare duties. It allows for up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay to be shared between both parents.
Beyond statutory paternity pay, there may be other benefits available to new fathers. For example, you might be eligible for Child Benefit, the Sure Start Maternity Grant, or tax credits. It’s worth exploring these benefits to ensure you’re taking advantage of all available support.
Paternity Rights in the Workplace
It’s important for fathers to understand their rights in the workplace regarding paternity leave. Fathers have the right to take time off for antenatal appointments, a safe and suitable working environment, and protection against unfair treatment or dismissal.
Taking Advantage of Paternity Pay and Leave
It’s crucial for fathers to plan and prepare for paternity leave to ensure a smooth transition into this special time in their lives. Here are a few tips for taking advantage of paternity pay and leave:
Familiarise yourself with your workplace policies: Understand your company’s policies regarding paternity pay and leave and make sure you are aware of any specific requirements or procedures.
Communicate with your employer: Notify your employer about your intention to take paternity leave and provide any necessary documentation or notice as required.
Plan your finances: Consider your financial situation during the paternity leave period and make any necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth transition without added financial stress.
Embrace your role as a caregiver: Use your time off to bond with your child and support your partner. Take an active role in childcare and create lasting memories with your family.
Paternity pay in the UK provides fathers with the opportunity to be present during the early stages of their child’s life and support their growing family. By understanding your rights and taking advantage of the benefits available, fathers can play an active role in their child’s upbringing and foster a strong family bond. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria, give notice to your employer, and plan for a smooth paternity leave experience. Enjoy this special time with your newborn, knowing that you have the support and flexibility to be the best father you can be.