PATERNITY LEAVE Paternity leave and pay will give eligible employees the right to take paid leave to care for the child or support the mother. New rights to paternity leave and pay will be available to employees whose children are expected to be born, or are born, on or after 6 April 2002. Employees whose children are expected to be born on or after 6 April 2003, will be able to take paternity leave and pay even if their children are born earlier than expected. What do I have to do to claim paternity leave? Employees will need to satisfy the following conditions in order to qualify for paternity leave. They must: have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing be the biological father of the child or the mother's husband or partner* have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks leading into the 15th week before the baby is due provide a self-certificate (SC3) as evidence that they meet the eligibility conditions to receive statutory paternity pay (SPP). *The DTI guidance explains “by partner we mean a person whether of a different sex or the same sex who lives with the mother in an enduring family relationship but is not an immediate relative”. How much leave can I have? Employees can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave (not odd days). These can be either/or from the date of the child's birth (whether this is earlier or later than expected ), from a chosen number of days or weeks after the date of the child's birth (whether this is earlier or later than expected), from a chosen date. Leave can start on any day of the week on or following the child's birth but must be completed: within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child, or if the child is born early, within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the expected week of birth. Only one period of leave will be available to employees irrespective of whether more than one child is born as the result of the same pregnancy. What is the paternity pay? During their paternity leave most employees will be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). It will be paid for either one or two consecutive weeks as the employee has chosen. The rate of SPP will be the same as the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay – £108.85 as at April 2006. Employees who have average weekly earnings below the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance purposes will not qualify for SPP. Those that do not qualify for SPP, may be able to receive Income Support while on paternity leave. Further information is available from the Jobcentre Plus office or Social Security office. Do I have a right to contractual paid paternity leave? The University of Bolton’s employees have a contractual right to paternity leave - this is 5 days paid paternity leave. Sometimes this is referred to as occupational paternity pay. This is paid at 5 days at your salary rate. The employee may take advantage of whichever is the more favourable, however please note that you will not be paid more than one week at the SPP rate and 5 days at your salary rate if you take the full 2 weeks paternity leave. Any paternity pay to which you have as a contractual right reduces the amount of SPP to which you are entitled. Is there a notification period? Employees will be required to inform The University of their intention to take paternity leave by the fifteenth week before the baby is expected, unless this is not reasonably practicable. Information should include: The week the baby is due Whether they wish to take one or two weeks' paternity leave When they want their paternity leave to start. You should notify both your line manager and the Personnel Unit. What if I change my mind when I want to take my paternity leave? Employees will be able to change their mind about the date on which they want their leave to start providing they give notice at least 28 days in advance (unless this is not reasonably practicable). An employee will have to give the date they expect any payments of SPP to start at least 28 days in advance, unless this is not reasonably practicable. You should notify both your line manager and the Personnel Unit. What happens to my terms and conditions? Employees are entitled to the benefit of their normal terms and conditions of employment, except for terms relating to wages or salary through their paternity leave. Employees will be entitled to return to the same job following paternity leave.