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How is Paternity Leave Changing in 2024

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Background

In our last newsletter, we discussed some of the changes to statutory pay that occurred this April, notably the increase to £184.03 per week for maternity, adoption, and paternity pay.

However, let’s go through the other changes that the Government has recently made to paternity leave.

What are the Changes from 7 April 2024?

The changes the government are introducing aim to give new parents more flexibility.

  1. Employees no longer have to take paternity leave in consecutive weeks. Instead, they can take leave in single-week blocks when they please.
  2. Leave can now be taken within the first 52 weeks after birth or adoption. Previously, leave had to be taken in the first 56 days.
  3. The period of notice employees need to give before taking paternity leave has reduced to 28 days’ notice instead of 15 weeks before the baby’s due date. Bear in mind that for adoption, this remains at seven days.
  4. Employees now only need to give 28 days’ notice to cancel their leave.
  5. Information for employees to provide before the end of the ‘qualifying week’ which is 15 weeks before the baby is due:
  6. they’re having a baby
  7. they’re planning to take paternity leave
  8. the expected week of childbirth

How do I manage these changes?

The first thing to do is to know who the changes apply to. Parents who had their child before April 6, 2024, do not qualify, but those who have had children after the 6th are entitled to the new benefits.

You should revise your paternity leave policy to include these changes. While you may already offer employees more than the statutory minimum paternity leave, your policy may not comply with the laws on notice periods or flexibility. So, checking every aspect to ensure you’re compliant is a good idea.

In addition you should advise your managers and senior employees of the changes to keep them in the loop. With the new flexibility for new parents, they need to be aware of the possible impact of the changes

Moving Forward

Changes to government policy happen every year and but it can be a struggle to get it right.

Clients of HR:4UK on the Intermediate or Upper level of service will have had these changes already implemented to their policies and would only need to point their employees to their Employment Handbook to see these changes.

Clients on the basic level of service who wish to upgrade to gain access to our suite of family friendly policies, can get in touch with us on 01455 444222 option 1 or email [email protected]

If you want to ensure that you have appropriately adapted to the new changes implemented to Paternity leave, our dedicated team can help you through the process.  It is our job to make sure you remain legally compliant which leaves you to focus on what’s important – running your business.

If you’d like a quick chat or have questions about the changes coming, please do get in touch we are waiting for your call. You can reach us on 01455 444222 or email.

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.