Proposals were announced today (12 January 2024), that would see changes to the laws around time off for paternity leave, which if go ahead are expected to come into force from April 2024.
Current Paternity Leave Entitlements
Statutory paternity leave is an entitlement that provides eligible employees with up to two weeks of paid time off work to spend time with the birth or adoption of a new child and to support their partner.
The current entitlement is to take the paid leave either as one single week or as two consecutive weeks’ leave but cannot be taken as two separate one week periods of leave that are not consecutive nor as individual days. The leave must also be taken within eight weeks following the date of birth (or date of placement / entry to the UK for adoptions).
Key Changing in the Amendments
The proposed changes announced earlier are:
- The draft Regulations would come into force on 8 March 2024 and will apply to eligible employees who have an EWC that begins on or after 6 April 2024 and where the expected date of placement for adoption (entry into Great Britain) is on or after 6 April 2024.
- Fathers and partners will be able to take leave as either two separate one week periods of leave (non-consecutive) or as one continuous period.
- Leave can be taken at any point in the first year of birth/adoption of their child
- Except in the case of domestic adoption, the notice period for taking the leave will be reduced to four weeks.
- For domestic adoption the notice period remains at seven days of the employee having received notice of being matched with a child.
- The dates for the leave can be varied with 28 days’ notice of the variation
It has also been indicated that changes to the statutory pay scheme are also due, but details are not yet available.
We are here to help
We continue to monitor developments in employment law and will continue to update our website and social media platforms as we see developments. We will also be discussing these changes in our upcoming Virtual Employment Law Seminar. You can register for this free event here, and we aim to cover all the developments expected for 2024 and beyond.