Worthingtons Solicitors

Paternity Leave

On 5th April 2015 parental and adoption rights in Northern Ireland changed with the introduction of Shared Parental Leave and Pay. This means that if your baby was born on or after 5th April 2015, you may be eligible for Shared Parental Leave and Pay, instead of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay, which is no longer available. You may, however, still be entitled to Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay.

As with Maternity Leave and Pay, this document covers the minimum statutory entitlement. Employees should check their contracts of employment or Staff Handbook as some employers may offer more generous Paternity Leave and Pay schemes.

Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay

To qualify for OSPP you must:

  1. Be the biological father or adopter of the child or be the mother’s (or adopter’s) husband, partner or civil partner, or have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing;
  2. Have continuously worked for the same employer without a break for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the baby is due, or employed up to and including the week your wife, partner or civil partner was matched with a child;
  3. You must continue to work for that employer without a break up to the date the child is born or placed for adoption
  4. You must earn an average of at least £122 gross per week

OSPP is paid for one or two consecutive weeks at £139.58 or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is less. You must tell your employer that you intend to take Ordinary Paternity Leave by the 15th week before your baby is due, or within 7 days of your wife, partner or civil partner being told by the adoption agency that they have been matched with a child.

You can decide when to start Ordinary Statutory Paternity Leave. Leave can start on any day of the week on or following the child’s birth, but must be completed within 8 weeks of the actual date of the birth (or 8 weeks after the expected date if the baby is born early). In the case of adoption, OSPL can start from the date of the child’s placement, but again must be completed within 8 weeks of the date of placement.

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