Guidance for employers on new paternity leave

Added On: 3rd April 2011

Guidance for employers on new paternity leave

With effect from today the opportunity for parents to share the 52 weeks maternity leave currently allowed to mothers comes into force. The right to additional paternity leave applies only to fathers or partners of mothers of children with an expected week of birth beginning on or after 3 April 2011 (or in an adoption situation, where the notification of the match with a child is on or after 3 April 2011).

In a birth situation, the employee must give the employer at least eight weeks’ notice of his or her additional paternity leave, and at the same time must give the employer two written declarations, one from themselves and one from the child’s mother. Their own declaration must state that:

  • the purpose of the leave is to care for the child;
  • they are the child’s father, or are married to, or the partner or civil partner of, the child’s mother; and
  • they have, or expects to have, the main responsibility (apart from any responsibility of the child’s mother) for the upbringing of the child.

The mother’s declaration must state:

  • her name and address;
  • the date that she intends to return to work;
  • her national insurance number;
  • that the employee is the child’s father, or is the mother's spouse, partner or civil partner;
  • that the employee has, or expects to have, the main responsibility (apart from any responsibility the mother has) for the upbringing of the child;
  • that the employee is, to the mother's knowledge, the only person exercising the right to take additional paternity leave in respect of the child; and
  • that she consents to the employer processing this data.

As the employer you can request that the employee provides a copy of the child’s birth certificate. You can also ask for the name and address of the mother’s employer (or her business address if she is self-employed).

In an adoption situation, the employee must give the employer at least eight weeks’ notice of his or her additional paternity leave, and at the same time must give the employer two written declarations, one by the employee and one by the child’s adopter. The employee's declaration must state that:

  • the purpose of the leave is to care for the child;
  • they married to, or the partner or civil partner of, the adopter; and
  • they have been matched with the child for adoption.

The adopter's declaration must state:

  • the adopter's name and address;
  • the date that the adopter intends to return to work;
  • the adopter's national insurance number;
  • that the employee is married to, or is the partner or civil partner of, the adopter; and
  • that the adopter consents to the employer processing this data.

In addition, as the employer you can request evidence in the form of documents issued by the adoption agency showing:

  • the name and address of the adoption agency;
  • the date that the employee was matched with the child;
  • and the expected date of placement. It can also ask for the name and address of the adopter’s employer (or the adopter's business address if he or she is self-employed).

In relation to an adoption from overseas, the employer can request a copy of the official notification document and evidence of the date on which the child entered Great Britain. It can also ask for the name and address of the adopter’s employer (or the adopter's business address if he or she is self-employed).