Paternity Leave Policy
Last Updated 3 Jun 2021 in Family Friendly
If you’re going to be a dad you’ll want to know how much paternity leave you can take and how it all works – this policy should answer your questions.
Key points covered:
Your paternity leave entitlement
How this can be taken (from the date the baby is born/placed for adopted, or at a later date)
How much paternity pay you will receive
How to inform the Society that you intend to take paternity leave
About this policy?
The Society understands that having a baby or adopting a child is an important and exciting time for colleagues. This policy outlines when a colleague may be entitled to paternity leave and paternity pay and sets out the arrangements for taking it.
This Policy applies to all colleagues (whether employed on a full-time, part-time, fixed term or permanent basis). It does not apply to agency workers or self-employed contractors.
This policy does not form part of any colleague’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
You may also be eligible to opt into the shared parental leave scheme which gives you and your partner more flexibility to share the leave available in the first year. Details are set out in our Shared Parental Leave Policy.
Who is responsible for this policy?
All colleagues are expected to follow the guidelines set out in this policy. Colleagues are encouraged to speak with their line manager in the first instance if they need assistance with this policy.
All managers must treat colleagues fairly and consistently in accordance with this policy. If managers require support or assistance, they should contact the relevant HR advisor.
Eligibility for paternity leave
Colleagues will be entitled to take paternity leave if they:
Are the biological father of the child and will have some responsibility for the child’s upbringing
Are the intended parent in a surrogacy arrangement
Are the mother’s partner and expect to have main responsibility with the mother/main adopter for the child’s upbringing
To qualify for paternity leave you must have been continuously employed by the Society for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, or the week in which you or your partner are notified by the adoption agency or local authority that you have been matched with a child.
Paternity leave is available where a child is placed with you for adoption by an adoption agency. In such cases you may be entitled to take adoption leave instead (see our Adoption Leave Policy). However, adoption leave may only be taken by one adoptive parent. Paternity leave is available to the other adoptive parent (of either sex).
You can only take one period of paternity leave for each pregnancy or adoption placement, even if more than one child is born or placed with you for adoption.
If the colleague is unable to satisfy the eligibility criteria outlined above, they may be able to take unpaid paternity leave and should speak to their line manager and/or HR advisor about whether this is possible.
Time off for appointments
Colleagues can take up to 2 days unpaid time off work to attend ante-natal or pre-adoption appointments. Although this time off is unpaid, the Society will do its best to limit the effect such as agreeing for the colleague to make up the time where possible. Colleagues should give their line manager as much notice as possible and make every effort to arrange appointments at a time that will cause the least disruption to work. Colleagues may also be required to provide evidence of their appointment when requesting time off.
The Society is also keen to support families undergoing fertility treatment. As such, colleagues can also take up to two days unpaid time off work to undergo fertility treatment, if it is not possible to arrange these outside of your normal working hours. Colleagues should give their line manager as much notice as possible, and make every effort to arrange such appointments at a time that will cause the least disruption to work. Colleagues may also be required to provide evidence of their appointment when requesting time off.
Notification of paternity leave
Colleagues must notify the Society, in writing, of their intention to take paternity leave by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, or no more than seven days after you and/or your partner were notified of having been matched with the child. If the colleague misses this application date, please notify your HR advisor immediately and they will endeavour to assist you.
The colleague will need to complete form PL/1 and send a copy to their line manager, payroll and the HR operations coordinator & maternity/paternity coordinator in PSG (MaternityPaternity@midcounties.coop).
Should the colleague change their mind about the date when they want their paternity leave to start, the colleague is required to provide their manager with four weeks’ notice in writing, or as soon as possible if that timescale is missed.
Colleagues can take up to two weeks’ paternity leave either in units of one or two consecutive weeks. It cannot be taken in installments.
Paternity leave can start on the date of the child's birth or adoption placement, or a later date of your choosing. However, it must end within 56 days (eight weeks) of birth or placement, or within 56 days of the first day of the Expected Week of Childbirth (if the child was born early).
Colleagues cannot take paternity leave if they have already taken any periods of shared parental leave for this pregnancy or adoption placement. However you may be eligible to take shared parental leave after taking paternity leave for the same pregnancy or adoption. Please see the shared parental leave policy for more details.
All the terms and conditions of your employment remain in force during paternity leave, except for the terms relating to pay. You will continue to accrue annual leave during paternity leave. You should agree with your manager any leave you want to take and aim to take holidays during the holiday year. If that isn’t possible due to your return date being too close to the end of the holiday year, please discuss carrying over holidays with your manager.
For details of how pension is treated during shared parental leave please contact the Pensions office on 01926 516009.
The Society offers enhanced paternity pay, provided that colleagues meet the criteria for statutory paternity pay. Colleagues will be paid at their normal rate of pay during the first week of paternity leave. If colleagues take the second week of paternity leave, it is paid at the statutory paternity pay (SPP) rate.
Statutory paternity pay is paid at a prescribed rate which is set by the government for the relevant tax year (£156.66 in April 2022), or at 90% of your average weekly earnings calculated over the relevant period if this is lower.
Paternity pay is payable on the Society’s published four weekly pay dates. Tax and national insurance will be deducted.
The statutory paternity pay criteria are that the colleague:
Be employed by the Society on the date the child is born or placed for adoption.
Be earning an average of at least £120 a week.
Has not already taken any period of shared parental leave for this pregnancy or adoption placement.
If you have any questions regarding this policy or require additional support, you should speak to your line manager. Alternatively, you can contact the HR advisor for your business group, or contact the HR advice line on 01926 516469.
The HR operations coordinator can be contacted at MaternityPaternity@midcounties.coop.
Paternity Leave Policy
Date of last review: