Paternity Leave and Pay Bill
The Aim Of The Paternity Leave and Pay Bill Is To Make Leave More Flexible
The Government’s response to the consultation on Paternity Leave and Pay has been published. The intention of the Paternity Leave and Pay Bill is to amend paternity leave legislation to make it more flexible, the aim being to increase the uptake of fathers taking paternity leave.
The Paternity Leave and Pay Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons on 20 June 2023. The second reading is listed for 24 November 2023.
Background to Paternity Leave and Pay
Currently fathers or partners may take up to two weeks’ leave and receive two weeks’ statutory paternity pay following the birth or adoption of a child.
What Changes Does The Paternity Leave and Pay Bill Propose?
The Paternity Leave and Pay Bill will amend current legislation to make statutory paternity leave and pay more flexible, by taking forward the following measures:
fathers or partners may split their leave into two blocks of one week. Currently, only one block of either one or two weeks’ leave can be taken.
fathers or partners may take their leave and pay at any point during the first year following the birth or adoption of their child, instead of only within the first eight weeks.
The government will adjust the way fathers or partners give notice of leave to their employer. The new measure will require an employee to give notice that they intend to take leave 15 weeks prior to the expected week of childbirth or placement for adoption, and then four weeks’ notice of dates prior to each period of leave.
The aim of the reforms is to give fathers or partners and employers greater flexibility, as the two weeks can be taken at any point in the first year after birth or adoption.
Implementation Of The Proposed Changes
The government has not proposed a particular timeframe to implement these changes but has indicated that such legislation will be introduced “in due course”.
How To Prepare
It will be important to check Paternity and related family rights policies to see what changes are needed.
The key questions are likely to centre around notice and evidence requirements. Will you relax any notice and evidence requirements provided for in the regulations? If so, what would be the minimum notice required?
Employee Handbook Compliance Package