In July 2019, as part of its consultation on “Proposals to Support Families”, the government considered high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay with a view to achieving greater equality in parenting and at work. The government has finally published its response to that consultation which confirms that it will amend the current legislation to make it easier for fathers and partners to take paternity leave. However, no changes will be made to maternity leave, shared parental leave or unpaid parental leave.

The amending legislation, which will be introduced in due course, will:

  • give employed fathers and partners more choice and flexibility around how and when they take their paternity leave – they will be able to take the current entitlement of up to two weeks of leave in two separate blocks of one week of leave if they wish
  • give employed fathers and partners the ability to take their paternity leave at any time in the first year (i.e. within 52 weeks of birth or placement for adoption), rather than just in the first eight weeks after birth or placement for adoption
  • change the notice requirements for paternity leave to make these more proportionate to the amount of time the father or partner plans to take off work – they will need to give their notice of entitlement 15 weeks before birth and then give 28 days’ notice before the dates that they intend to take each period of leave (and pay, where they qualify).

Source: New feed