Draft Paternity Leave Regulations Published

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The UK Government has published the draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 stetting out proposed changes to paternity leave rights.

The new rules are set to come into effect when the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) is or after on 6 April 2024.

 

Key changes under the draft legislation

The key changes under the new legislation include:

  • Fathers and partners can now choose to take their two weeks of statutory paternity leave as either two separate one-week blocks or as two consecutive weeks. This is offers enhanced flexibility to employees on the current provisions.
  • The period of leave can be taken at any point within the first year after the birth or adoption of the child. Currently, fathers are required to take paternity leave within 56 days following the date of birth or adoption.
  • The dates for the leave can be varied with 28 days’ notice. This is  change to the current requirement to give at least 15 weeks’ notice before the EWC.
  • For domestic adoptions, the notice period for taking paternity leave is reduced from seven days to four weeks, providing fathers with more time to prepare for their new role.
  • Fathers and partners on paternity leave, or within six months of taking it, are now protected from redundancy, unless certain specific redundancy criteria are met.
  • While the regulations address leave arrangements, statutory paternity pay is to remain at the current rate of £151.97 per week, paid for two weeks, unless eligible for company schemes offering enhanced pay.
  • Employers are still required to report paternity leave taken to HMRC through RTI (Real Time Information) payroll submissions.

 

Considerations for employers

The changes are set to take effect from 6 April 2024, and will coincide with other changes to family-related policies such as revisions to flexible working rights, the extension of the protected period following pregnancy snd maternity leave and the introduction of carers’ leave.

In light of the proposals, employers should take action to understand the new rules and implement the necessary changes to ensure compliance. This should include reviewing and updating all relevant policies, procedures and systems, training relevant personnel such as HR and lion managers and communicating the changes to entitlements to employees.

 

Need assistance?

For advice on the proposed changes and how they may affect your organisation, contact us.

Last updated: 15 January 2024

Author

Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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