Statutory Paternity Pay

paternity leave, paternity pay

Statutory paternity pay is a form of financial support provided by the government to fathers in the UK who are taking time off work to care for their newborn or adopted child. This benefit is designed to help fathers participate in the early stages of their child's life and support the mother during the maternity leave period.

This article will discuss the aspects of statutory paternity pay, including eligibility, amount, and payment details. We will also provide information on related topics such as shared parental leave, maternity rights, and how to claim statutory paternity pay.

Maternity and paternity benefits and leave

Maternity and paternity leave are types of leaves that allow parents to take time off work to care for their child. In the UK, mothers are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, which can take up to 56 days before the expected due date. During this time, mothers are eligible to receive statutory maternity pay, a form of financial support the government provides.

On the other hand, fathers are entitled to 2 weeks of paternity leave if they meet certain eligibility criteria. one can take this leave any time within the first 56 days after the birth or adoption of the child. Fathers are also eligible to receive statutory adoption pay during this time, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

It is worth noting that one can share maternity and paternity leave between parents if the total leave does not exceed 52 weeks. It is known as shared parental leave, which we will discuss later.

How to claim statutory paternity pay

To claim statutory paternity pay, fathers must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • They must be an employee or a worker (self-employed individuals are not eligible for statutory paternity leave and pay)
  • The same employer must have employed them for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due or by the date of adoption.
  • Their weekly normal wages must be at least £120 to claim statutory paternity pay.
  • They must provide their employer with a self-certificate form, which confirms that they are entitled to statutory paternity leave and pay.
  • They must give their employer notice before 28 days' of their intention to take paternity leave.
  • Be contributing to tax and national insurance.

If the father meets all of these requirements, they can claim statutory paternity pay by providing their employer with a completed self-certificate form. One can obtain this form from the government's website or the employer. The employer will then process the claim and pay the statutory paternity pay to the civil partner per the agreed payment schedule.

Shared parental leave and pay

Statutory paternity pay, fathers also have the option of taking this parental leave. Shared parental leave allows parents to share the 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of statutory pay between them. It can be useful for fathers who want to take longer leave to care for their children.

To claim this parental leave, both parents must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be employees or workers (self-employed individuals cannot claim shared parental leave)
  • The same employer must have employed them for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due or by the date of adoption.
  • They must have earned at least £120 per week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks leading up to the due date or adoption.
  • They must provide their employer with a shared parental leave notice, which confirms their eligibility and intention to take leave.
  • They must give their employer at least eight weeks' notice of their intention to take leave.

If both parents meet the above criteria, they can claim shared leave by providing their employer with a completed leave notice. One must give the notice at least eight weeks before the start of the leave period.

Once the shared parental leave notice has been submitted, the parents can agree on how they want to divide the leave between them. Each parent can take a continuous block of leave or take shorter leave periods interspersed with work periods.

During shared parental leave, both parents will receive statutory shared parental pay, equivalent to statutory paternity pay. The amount of statutory shared parental pay is based on the average weekly earnings of the parent taking the leave.

Amount of statutory paternity pay

The amount of statutory paternity pay that fathers are entitled to depend on their average weekly earnings. Fathers who earn at least £120 per week on average can claim receive 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of paternity leave. For the remaining weeks, fathers are entitled to a flat rate of £151.97 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Fathers should first determine their average weekly earnings to calculate the amount of statutory paternity pay. It can be done by taking the total earnings from the highest paid 13 of the 66 weeks leading up to the 15th week before the baby is due and dividing it by 13. The resulting figure is the average weekly earnings.

Next, fathers should multiply their average weekly earnings by 90% to determine the statutory paternity pay they are entitled to for the first six weeks. For the remaining weeks, they should compare the flat rate of £151.97 to 90% of their average weekly earnings and choose the lower amount.

Maternity rights

In addition to statutory paternity pay, mothers in the UK are also entitled to a range of rights during and after their maternity leave. These rights include:

  • The right to 52 weeks of maternity leave
  • The right to maternity pay or maternity allowance for 39 weeks
  • The right to return to the same job or a similar job after maternity leave
  • The right to request flexible working arrangements
  • The right to be protected from discrimination and dismissal on maternity grounds.

During maternity leave, the child's mother is entitled to receive maternity pay or maternity allowance, depending on their eligibility. Maternity pay is paid by the employer and is based on the mother's average weekly earnings. On the other hand, Maternity allowance is paid by the government to mothers who are self-employed or do not qualify for statutory maternity pay.

After maternity leave, mothers have the right to return to the same job or a similar job on the same terms and conditions as before. If the mother's job no longer exists, the employer must offer a suitable alternative role.

Mothers also have the right to request flexible working arrangements, such as part-time work or flexible hours, to help them balance their work and caregiving responsibilities. Employers must consider all requests for flexible working seriously and can only refuse the request on specific business grounds.

Conclusion

In conclusion, statutory parental leave and pay is a valuable benefit provided by the government to fathers in the UK who are taking time off work to care for their newborn or adopted child. Fathers must understand their eligibility for statutory paternity pay and the process for claiming it.

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