Additional Paternity Leave and Pay

The government has announced its intention to introduce Additional Paternity Leave and Pay for fathers of children due on or after 3 April 2011.

The government will consult shortly on new regulations that will give families greater flexibility in how they choose to look after their children. As detailed in the press release: * Families will have the choice to transfer up to six months leave to the father should they want to, which can be taken by the father once the mother has returned to work. * This new provision will be available during the second six months of the child’s life, giving parents the option of dividing a period of paid leave entitlement between them. * Some of the leave may be paid if taken during the mother’s 39 week maternity pay period. This would be paid at the same rate as Statutory Maternity Pay (generally £123.06 per week). * Parents will be required to ‘self certify’ by providing details of their eligibility to their employer. Employers and HMRC will both be able to carry out further checks of entitlement if necessary. Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, said: “Mothers will be able to choose to transfer the last six months of their maternity leave to the father, with three months paid. 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.”