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Changes to Paternity Leave

Amidst the ever-changing scope of parental rights and workplace dynamics, a significant development has been made regarding paternity leave. The change to Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) will come into effect from 6th April 2024, evolving outdated regulations to give employed fathers more flexibility in scheduling their leave. These amendments aim to provide a better work-life balance and foster enhanced diversity and inclusion within organisations.  


Following on from a government consultation in 2019, the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations will come into effect on 8th March, affecting children expected to be born after April 6th. This change will enable fathers and partners to split their statutory paternity leave into one-week segments instead of taking them consecutively.  

This means fathers and partners can take leave at any time during the first year of their child’s birth or placement for adoption rather than the first eight weeks. By offering this flexibility, employers can support their employees in achieving a better integration of work and family responsibilities, contributing to improved work-life balance and overall employee well-being. 

 Full list of paternity leave changes: 

  • Fathers or partners can now divide their leave into two blocks of one week each, replacing the previous allowance of only one block lasting one or two consecutive weeks. 
  • Fathers or partners are now able to utilise their leave and receive pay at any point within the first year following the birth or adoption of their child, instead of being restricted to the initial eight weeks. 
  • The process for fathers or partners to notify their employer about their leave and pay has been adjusted: 
  • Employees must provide notice of their intention to take leave 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). 
  • Additionally, a further four weeks’ notice prior to each period of leave is required. 

The statutory paternity rate of pay and eligibility criteria, however, will remain the same. 

Employers with established and long-standing policies and procedures will need to update them to accommodate: 

  • Leave (and pay) permitted in non-consecutive one-week blocks. 
  • Leave (and pay) can be utilised within 52 weeks following the birth or placement of a child. 
  • Notification of entitlement required 15 weeks prior to the birth or placement. 
  • Leave requests to be submitted 28 days before the planned leave dates. 

As businesses navigate these regulatory shifts, it becomes paramount to seek expert guidance and support in adapting HR policies to align with new statutory requirements. EKW Group’s HR services offer tailored solutions to help businesses navigate these changes seamlessly, ensuring compliance with any regulations, promoting a culture of inclusivity, work-life balance, and employee well-being.  

If you would like further guidance ahead of the changes, please contact our People and Culture Manager, Eleanor Taylor, at [email protected] for more information.  

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