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Practice dilemma: Sharing paternity leave

A salaried GP's wife is pregnant and has mentioned being able to 'share' maternity leave with her. Is he right?

A salaried GP's wife is pregnant and has mentioned being able to 'share' maternity leave with her. Is he right?

He is correct that the rules about paternity leave changed in relation to babies born on or after 3 April 2011. Provided he has 26 weeks service at the date when the baby is due, is the father of the baby or the mother's partner and will have responsibility for the upbringing of the baby then he is entitled to some paternity leave.

If the baby is born before 3 April 2011 then he is entitled to two weeks of paternity leave which must be taken within 56 days of the baby's birth and taken as either one or two weeks. He should tell you in advance when the baby is due, how much time he wants to take off and when he wants the leave to start.

However, if the baby is born on or after 3 April 2011 then he can also take up to 26 weeks 'additional' paternity leave. This cannot be taken in the first 20 weeks after birth, and can only be taken if the mother is not taking additional maternity leave. This in effect means that both parents share the leave, whereas previously it rested largely with the mother.

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards

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