Changes to statutory paternity leave and pay

Working people taking time off because their partner is giving birth, or when adopting a child or getting a baby via surrogacy, may be eligible for one or two weeks of paternity leave and to receive Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). 

You can read about paternity pay and leave here

You can check eligibility for SPP on GOV.UK.  

Under current rules, eligible fathers/partners intending to take leave must give 15 weeks’ notice before the expected week of childbirth (adoption), they can only take one continuous block of paternity leave of either one or two weeks, and take this within the first eight weeks after birth.

The changes:

On 8 March 2024 The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 come into force creating more flexibility for paternity leave rules and SPP for an expected date of birth after 6 April 2024. 

These changes will mean:

  • the notice period is reduced to 28 days before the expected week of childbirth
  • leave can be taken in 2 non-consecutive blocks of 1 week
  • leave can be taken at any point in the first year after birth or adoption
  • although the new rules apply to an expected date of birth of 6 April 2024, claims for paternity leave and pay will be allowed when a baby expected on that date arrives early (there are transitional rules for employers seeking to reclaim SSP payments in these circumstances)

You can read HMRC guidance on upcoming changes to paternity leave and pay on GOV.UK. 

Employers may sometimes say that they cannot afford to pay statutory paternity leave, but HMRC provides financial support for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave pay for small and medium employers in certain circumstances. 

You can read the guidance for employers to get financial help with statutory pay on GOV.UK.

Don’t forget to check whether your family will qualify for help under the Healthy Start Scheme.


Tom Togher.