New paternity regulations have come into force
The Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 came into force on 3 April 2011 and mean that fathers* are now entitled to up to six months’ paternity leave on top of the two weeks to which they are currently entitled.
Parents can now share 46 weeks’ parental leave if the mother goes back to work after 20 weeks. A woman expecting a baby after 3 April 2011 can now transfer the second half of their one year maternity leave to their partner.
The father* is then entitled to take the mother’s maternity leave on statutory pay of £128.73 a week, or 90% of average weekly earnings if that is less, for 26 weeks. If the mother goes back to work after 30 weeks, the father is entitled to 16 weeks and so on.
The father* is, however, only entitled to Additional Statutory Paternity Pay during the first three months of leave; the last three months are unpaid. The new regulations also apply to parents who are adopting. *Despite the use of the name 'paternity leave', the leave is available to female partners of women who have given birth.