What is Statutory Paternity Pay in the UK? A Guide
Written by: Rinaily Bonifacio
Last updated: 14 November 2023
Table of contents
What is statutory paternity pay?
Statutory paternity pay (SPP) is a payment that eligible employees can receive from their employer when they take paternity leave. Paternity leave is time off work that fathers can take when their partner gives birth, adopts a child, or has a baby through surrogacy.
How much is statutory paternity pay?
The amount of SPP that employees receive depends on your average weekly earnings. An employee will receive either £172.48 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
Tax and National Insurance will be deducted from these payments.
How to claim statutory paternity pay
To claim SPP, employees must give the employer at least 28 days' notice of your intention to take paternity leave. The employee must also have been employed by the employer for at least 26 weeks up to the date of birth or the start of the paternity leave.
To claim SPP, you will need to complete an SPP1 form and give it to the employer. The employer will then calculate how much SPP the employee is entitled to and pay it to them in the same way as their wages.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to claim statutory paternity pay:
- Check if you are eligible. You must have been employed by your employer for at least 26 weeks up to the date of birth or the start of your paternity leave. You must also earn at least £123 per week before tax.
- Give your employer notice. You must give your employer at least 28 days' notice of your intention to take paternity leave. You can do this by completing an SPP1 form.
- Complete an SPP1 form. You can download an SPP1 form from the GOV.UK website. Fill in the form and give it to your employer.
- Receive your statutory paternity pay. Your employer will calculate how much SPP you are entitled to and pay it to you in the same way as your wages.
The benefits of offering statutory paternity pay
Here are some of the benefits of offering statutory paternity pay
Attracting and retaining top talent
- Statutory paternity pay can help employers to attract and retain top talent. This is because it shows that employers are committed to supporting their employees and their families.
- In a competitive job market, statutory paternity pay can be a valuable benefit that can help employers to stand out from the competition.
Improving employee morale and productivity
- Statutory paternity pay can help to improve employee morale and productivity. This is because it shows that employers value their employees and their families.
- When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive at work.
- Statutory paternity pay can also help to reduce employee stress and anxiety, which can lead to improved mental and physical health.
- Statutory paternity pay can also help to improve the company's reputation as a family-friendly employer.
- It can also help to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- Statutory paternity pay can also lead to a reduction in employee absenteeism and turnover.
How to comply with statutory paternity pay regulations
Employers must ensure that they comply with all statutory paternity pay (SPP) regulations. This includes calculating the correct amount of SPP, paying SPP on time, and keeping accurate records.
To calculate the correct amount of SPP, employers must first determine the employee's average weekly earnings. This is done by taking the employee's total earnings for the eight weeks before the week of the child's birth and dividing it by eight.
However, there are some earnings that are excluded from the calculation of average weekly earnings, such as bonuses and overtime payments.
Once the employee's average weekly earnings have been calculated, the employer can then calculate the amount of SPP that the employee is entitled to. SPP is paid at a rate of 90% of average weekly earnings, or £172.48 per week, whichever is lower.
SPP is paid for a period of two weeks, starting from the date of the child's birth or the date on which the employee begins their paternity leave, whichever is later.
Employers must pay SPP on time. SPP is normally paid on the same day as the employee's wages.
Employers must also keep accurate records of SPP payments. These records must be kept for at least six years.
Here are some additional tips for employers to comply with statutory paternity pay regulations:
- Make sure that you have a clear and concise policy on SPP. This policy should be communicated to all employees.
- Train your HR staff on the latest SPP regulations.
- Use a payroll system that can automatically calculate SPP payments.
- Keep accurate records of SPP payments.
- Review your SPP policy and procedures on a regular basis to ensure that they are up to date.
By following these tips, employers can ensure that they are complying with all statutory paternity pay regulations.
In addition to the above, employers should also be aware of the following:
- Employees have the right to request paternity leave up to 56 weeks before the expected week of childbirth.
- Employers must give employees at least eight weeks' notice of the date on which their paternity leave will start.
- Employees must take paternity leave in two blocks of one week or two consecutive weeks.
- Employees can take paternity leave at any time within 56 weeks of the child's birth.
Employers who fail to comply with statutory paternity pay regulations may be liable for a fine.
Best practices for supporting employees during paternity leave
Employers can learn from the experiences of other employers to see what best practices they can implement to support their employees during paternity leave. Here are a few tips:
- Encourage employees to take paternity leave. Some employees may be hesitant to take paternity leave, especially if they are the primary breadwinner for their family. Employers can encourage employees to take paternity leave by emphasizing the importance of bonding with the new baby and supporting the mother.
- Offer flexible work arrangements. When employees return from paternity leave, they may need flexible work arrangements to help them balance their work and family commitments. Employers can offer flexible work arrangements such as part-time hours, telecommuting, and compressed workweeks.
- Provide support and resources. Employers can provide support and resources to help employees navigate the challenges of becoming a new parent. This could include providing access to childcare resources, offering parenting classes, and creating a supportive work environment.
- Be understanding and supportive. Employers should be understanding and supportive of employees during paternity leave. This means being flexible with deadlines, avoiding overloading employees with work, and being understanding if employees need to take time off for family emergencies.
Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.
Please note that the information on our website is intended for general informational purposes and not as binding advice. The information on our website cannot be considered a substitute for legal and binding advice for any specific situation. While we strive to provide up-to-date and accurate information, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information on our website for any purpose. We are not liable for any damage or loss arising from the use of the information on our website.
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