If your partner is pregnant, you need to know whether you are eligible to leave or support so you can spend more time with your new family. We have created this comprehensive guide so you don’t have to look any further.

In recent years, partners of pregnant people have taken more leave to spread the time off work more evenly. To allow for this there are a few different options the parents can take.

Either the partner of the pregnant person can claim separate rights of paternity leave or pay, or the parents can combine their leave in statutory shared or shared parental leave.

Paternity Leave or Pay is what the partner of a pregnant person can legally take. They are eligible to take either leave or Paternity Pay, but not both.

None of these choices impact your right to take unpaid leave for two antenatal appointments. This includes a right to six and a half hours per appointment, or more if the employer allows it.

Paternity Leave

If you, the partner of a pregnant person, decide to take paternity leave, you are eligible to one or two weeks paid leave from work. This is the same whether you have more than one child at birth.

There are no options for splitting the leave up into blocks, such that when you begin your paternity leave you cannot return until it is completed. Furthermore, a week’s leave is only as many days leave as you normally work in a week. For example, if you work two days per week you are eligible to up to four days of parental leave over two weeks.

Unlike maternity leave, you do not have to provide a specific date in advance. Instead, you can agree to take your leave in relation to the actual birth date, such as one week after the birth. Additionally, the leave cannot commence before the birth and cannot end within 56 days of the birth or due date, whichever is later.

Paternity Pay

If you do not want to take paternity leave, you can choose to be paid whilst on regular leave. To change the start date of paternity pay, you must give your employer 28 days’ notice.

This amount is equivalent to 90% of your average weekly earnings, or £151.20, whichever is lower. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted from this amount.

Shared Parental Leave

You can apply to take Shared Parental Leave or Statutory Shared Parental Leave. This is the equivalent of 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between the two parents.

This has to be taken within a year of leave being taken but can be broken up into any blocks you want. As such, you could talk all your shared leave at once, break it up so you swap taking leave, both be working and then take more leave, or a mix of all the above.