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Latest paternity leave regulations

The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 (the Regulations), set to become law in March 2024, are currently under parliamentary review. These Regulations will revise the current statutory framework for paternity leave, modifying aspects such as notification and proof requirements, the timeframe for taking paternity leave and the stipulation that leave must be taken in a single, unbroken period.

The forthcoming Regulations update the current law as follows:

  • to enable fathers or partners to divide their leave into two separate one-week periods;
  • to enable fathers or partners to schedule their leave and pay at any point during the first year following their child’s birth or adoption;
  • to revise the notification process for taking leave and receiving pay. Currently, notice of the leave dates must be given 15 weeks before the birth or adoption – which is difficult for many to do. Under the new regulations, that will change. Employees will only need to inform their employer that they are entitled to the leave 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. Notice of the actual dates need only be given four weeks in advance of the intended dates of each leave period.

Employers will need to update established policies and procedures to reflect these changes.

The Regulations are proposed to take effect from 8 March 2024. The amendments will be applicable to fathers or partners of a baby with an expected week of birth starting on or after 6 April 2024, as well as fathers/partners of children with an anticipated adoption placement date or expected date of entry into Great Britain for adoption, on or after 6 April 2024.

The rate of, and eligibility criteria for, statutory paternity pay will remain the same for now, although there are plans to make changes to the statutory paternity pay scheme.

Source: Lexology

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