This site is intended for health professionals only

Practice dilemma: Paternity pay

Your Practice IT manager's partner is about to become a dad and he has requested paternity leave. What are his entitlements?

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 paternity leave.

In the absence of a policy giving more generous rights, he is entitled to up 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.

Normal pay will cease and for the period of leave he will be entitled to pay equivalent to the statutory maternity pay rate, which is currently £123.06 per week (or 90% of actual weekly earnings if lower). This is reviewed each April and from April 2010 it will increase to £124. 08 per week.

Your employee may seek to extend his time off with the baby by taking parental leave, which he is entitled to if he has over one years service. This allows him to take up to 13 weeks of unpaid leave for the purposes of care in the first five years of the child's life.

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards