If your business employs any staff, chances are at some point one or more of them will have a baby. You can get our maternity policy template here, but it’s also important to have a comprehensive paternity policy in place.
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As a small business owner, you’re well aware that your needs are vastly different to those of a large corporation. And that’s where Clarkslegal comes in. They've created templates particularly with the needs of small businesses in mind. We’ve joined forces with them to bring you quality, relevant legal documentation.
Our paternity leave template consists of six sections, covering both the legal requirements for paternity pay as well as optional and customisable sections. These are:
The first section explains what criteria an employee will have to meet in order to qualify for paternity leave. This includes both the relation to the child that is to be born, as well as how long you need to have worked for the company.
Additionally, when a couple adopts a child, the “primary adopter” is entitled to adoption leave and the partner may take paternity leave.
As an employer, it’s important you know if and when your employees are going to be absent. This section specifies that your employees need to tell you when their child is to be born or adopted, whether they wish to take one or two weeks off, and at what point their leave is going to start.
As well as that, it lets them know how far in advance they need to inform you of their upcoming paternity leave and how to go about doing so.
This section covers how much employees are entitled to, how they’re allowed to take that leave (as consecutive days or otherwise) and what benefits they’re entitled to while on paternity leave.
As of 2014, employees are entitled to unpaid leave on two occasions of 6.5 hours each in order to accompany pregnant women or primary adopters to antenatal/adoption appointments. This section explains this right, including what relationship you need to have with the pregnant woman/primary adopter in order to qualify and how to claim the time off.
As with maternity leave, fathers (or adopters) on paternity leave are entitled to statutory paternity pay. This is either the rate set by the government , or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings - whichever is lower.
This section explains SPP to employees, also stating how SPP will be paid and that National Insurance contributions and income tax are still deductible from SPP.
Legally, those returning from leave must be allowed to take up the same job with the same terms and conditions of employment as they had when they went on paternity leave.
If you wish to give these individuals further rights you can use this section to do so, but bear in mind that you must offer those returning from maternity/adoption leave the same benefits so as not to discriminate.
Some parents may wish to split their leave using shared parental leave. Mothers will always have to take the first two weeks after birth as leave for themselves, but they can then cut their maternity leave short for shared parental leave, where the days off are also taken by the father. Couples who adopt may also choose to take shared parental leave after the first two weeks.
Both parents can then choose how to split up the rest of the leave entitlement - of up to 50 weeks.
The Clarkslegal paternity leave template can be used as is, or you can make your own edits to it. If you wish to do so, you should consult legal counsel to make sure any edits you make comply with the law.
If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our paternity leave policy template in Word format.
This document has been produced by Clarkslegal so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We’d recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.
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