Factsheet number: 5.9


Last Updated: 31 March 2021

Introduction

This factsheet provides information about the rights your PA is entitled to regarding paternity, adoption leave, and parental bereavement leave which enables them to continue their job alongside any caring responsibilities they may have.

Contents

1. Introduction

2. Paternity leave and pay

2.1 Eligibility

2.2 If they lose their baby

2.3 If your PA is not eligible

3. Shared parental leave

3.1 Eligibility for birth parents

3.2 If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

3.3 If the mother’s partner wants to take the SPL and ShPP

3.4 Eligibility for adopters

3.5 If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

3.6 If only one of the parents wants to take the SPL and ShPP

4. Adoption leave and pay

4.1 Eligibility

5. Parental leave

5.1 Eligibility

6. Parental bereavement leave

6.1 Eligibility

6.2 The right to pay

6.3 Taking leave with other types of statutory leave

6.4  Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

6.5 Employment rights when on leave

1. Introduction

Working parents and carers have a range of statutory rights covering:

  • Paternity leave and pay
  • Shared parental leave
  • Adoption leave and pay
  • Parental leave
  • Parental bereavement leave

This factsheet will guide you through this process and help you to plan for this leave

2. Paternity leave & pay

PA’s may be eligible for Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay if they and their partner are:

  • having a baby
  • adopting a child
  • having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement

Eligibility

Your PA must be one of the following, the:

  • father
  • husband or partner of the mother (or adopter)
  • child’s adopter
  • intended parent (if they’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement)

Your PA must also:

  • be classed as an employee(paternity leave only)
  • be employed by you up to the date the child is born (or placed with the adopter) (paternity pay only)
  • be on your payroll and earn at least £120 a week (gross) in an 8 week ‘relevant period’ (paternity pay only)
  • give you the correct notice
  • be taking time off to look after the child or their partner
  • be responsible for the child’s upbringing
  • have been continuously employed by youfor at least 26 weeks up to any day in the ‘qualifying week’

The qualifying week is the 15th week before the baby is due. This is different if your PA is adopting.

If they lose their baby

Your PA can still get Paternity Leave or Pay if their baby is:

  • stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • born alive at any point during the pregnancy

If they’re not eligible

You must tell your PA within 28 days if they do not qualify and why using form SPP1. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/473512/SPP1_10_15.pdf

Shared parental leave

PAs and their partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if they’re having a baby or adopting a child.

They can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between them.

They need to share the pay and leave in the first year after their child is born or placed with their family.

They can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. They can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay.

3.1 Eligibility for birth parents

To be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), both parents must:

  • share responsibility for the child at birth
  • meet work and pay criteria - these are different depending on which parent wants to use the shared parental leave and pay

They’re not eligible if they started sharing responsibility for the child after it was born.

The eligibility criteria for adoptive parents are different, please see 3.4 below

If both parents want to share theSPL and ShPP

Your PA and their partner must:

  • have been employed continuously by their same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
  • stay with the same employer while they takeSPL
  • be on an employment contract and not a workers agreement
  • each earn on average at least £120 a week

3.3 If the mother’s partner wants to take the SPL and ShPP

The mother must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they do not need to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due
  • have earned at least £390 in total across any 13 of the 66 weeks

The mother’s partner must:

  • have been employed continuously by their same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
  • stay with the same employer while they takeSPL
  • be on an employment contract and not a workers agreement
  • earn on average at least £120 a week

If the mother wants to take the SPL and ShPP

The mother’s partner must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they do not need to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the baby’s due
  • have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they do not need to be in a row)

The mother must:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
  • stay with the same employer while they takeSPL
  • be on an employment contract and not a workers agreement
  • earn on average at least £120 a week

3.4 Eligibility for adopters

To be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), both adoptive parents must:

  • share responsibility for the child
  • meet the work and earnings criteria - these are different depending on which one of you wants to use the shared parental leave and pay

3.5 If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

Your PA and their partner must:

  • have been employed continuously by their same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week you were matched with the child
  • stay with the same employer while they takeSPL
  • be on an employment contract and not a workers agreement
  • each earn on average at least £120 a week

If only one of the parents wants to take theSPL and ShPP

The parent who wants to take the leave and pay must:

  • have been employed continuously by you for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week you were matched with the child
  • have stayed employed with you while they takeSPL
  • be on an employment contract and not a workers agreement
  • earn on average at least £120 each a week

The other parent must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they do not need to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the child was placed with them
  • have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they do not need to be in a row)

4. Adoption leave and pay

4.1 Eligibility

For your PA to get Statutory Adoption Leave, they must give you the correct notice.

Within 7 days of being matched with a child your PA must tell you:

  • how much leave they want
  • the date they wish to start their leave
  • the ‘date of placement’
  • the date the child is placed with you

You can ask your PA for this in writing and for proof of the adoption.

You must confirm to your PA their start and end dates within 28 days of them notifying you.

Your PA must give you proof of adoption to qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay. Proof is not needed for Statutory Adoption Leave unless they request it.

The proof must show:

  • your PAs name and address and that of the agency
  • the match date - for example the matching certificate
  • the date of placement - for example a letter from the agency
  • the relevant UK authority’s ‘official notification’ confirming they’re allowed to adopt (overseas adoptions only)
  • the date the child arrived in the UK - for example a plane ticket (overseas adoptions only)

5. Parental leave

Eligibility

Your PA can qualify for parental leave if all of the below apply:

  • they’ve been working for you for more than a year
  • they’re named on the child’s birth or adoption certificate or they have or expect to have parental responsibility
  • they’re not self-employed or a ‘worker’, eg an agency worker or contractor
  • they’re not a foster parent (unless they’ve secured parental responsibility through the courts)
  • the child is under 18

You can ask for proof (like a birth certificate) as long as it’s reasonable to do so, eg you can’t ask for proof each time an employee requests leave.

Eligible PAs can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child’s welfare, eg to:

  • spend more time with their children
  • look at new schools
  • settle children into new childcare arrangements
  • spend more time with family, such as visiting grandparents

You PAs employment rights (like the right to pay, holidays and returning to a job) are protected during parental leave.

6. Parental Bereavement Leave

6.1 Eligibility

Your PA and their partner may be able to take time off work if their child dies before they turn 18, or if you have a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The death or stillbirth must have happened on or after 6 April 2020.

6.2 Parental Bereavement Leave

Your PA can take 2 weeks’ leave from the first day of their employment for each child who has died or was stillborn.

They can take:

  • 2 weeks together
  • 2 separate weeks of leave
  • only one week of leave

A week is the same number of days that you normally work in a week.

Example A week of Parental Bereavement Leave would be 2 days if you only work on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The leave:

  • can start on or after the date of the death or stillbirth
  • must finish within 56 weeks of the date of the death or stillbirth

Taking leave with other types of statutory leave

If your PA is taking another type of statutory leave (for example, maternity leave or paternity leave) when the child dies or stillbirth happens, their Parental Bereavement Leave must start after the other leave has ended but does not have to be taken immediately after. This includes if the statutory leave is for another child.

If their Parental Bereavement Leave is interrupted by the start of another type of statutory leave, they can take their remaining entitlement to Parental Bereavement Leave after that other leave has ended.

Their remaining Parental Bereavement Leave must still be taken within 56 weeks of the date of death or stillbirth.

Your PA can take Parental Bereavement Leave between blocks of shared parental leave that they booked before the child died. This includes if the shared parental leave is for another child.

Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

Your PA will be able to get either £151.97 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)

Any money your PA gets paid the same way as their wages, for example weekly or monthly, along with deductions for tax and National Insurance.

Employment rights when on leave

Your PAs employment rights are protected while they are on Parental Bereavement Leave. This includes their right to:

  • build up (‘accrue’) holiday
  • return to work