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Paternity leave, changes in fathers entitlements

It has been announced by the government that they wish to introduce new legislation to allow mothers to swap a large portion of their maternity leave with the father and it is expected that the government will want this in place before the next general election.


Under current legislation fathers are entitled to two weeks paid paternity leave (subject to them reaching the pay and national insurance contribution limits), but under the new law parents will have the opportunity of dividing the maternity leave between them with the final three months of paid maternity leave which was due to the mother passing to the father who would then subsequently be paid £123.06, being the current statutory maternity pay.

The changes will apply to parents of children due on or after April 3, 2011

Harriet Harman, the Women and Equalities Minister, said “This gives families radically more choice and flexibility in how they balance work and care of children, and enables fathers to play a bigger part in bringing up their children. We’ve double maternity leave; doubled maternity pay; introduced paternity leave: more than doubled good quality childcare places: and introduced right to request flexible working.

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