Paternity leave policy


This policy applies to all employees and aims to inform them of their entitlement to contractual and statutory paternity rights, and ensure that these rights are understood. *In this context paternity leave covers maternity and adoption support leave but for ease of reference is referred to simply as “paternity leave”.


To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave and Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay you must:

  • be the biological father or secondary adopter of the child or be the mother's (or adopter's) spouse, partner or civil partner (including same-sex partner) or nominated carer (see 3.1 below) or have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing;
  • have 26 weeks’ or more continuous service by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC) or for at least 26 weeks up to and including the week your spouse, partner or civil partner was matched with a child for adoption;
  • Have average earnings above the LEL (lower earnings limit) for the 8 week “relevant” period between weeks 17- 25 of the mother’s pregnancy.   The LEL is the amount you have to earn before you are treated as paying National Insurance contributions.  This calculation will be especially relevant to those who work on a casual/hourly paid basis or have been on unpaid leave.

Includes having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement.


In order to better enable staff to balance work and family commitments the University has enhanced the statutory entitlements for Ordinary Paternity Leave as illustrated in the table below:

Statutory Entitlement

University Enhanced Entitlements

Two weeks (pro rata) paternity leave, to be taken in either 2 x 1 week blocks or 1 x 2 week weeks

As statutory entitlement but leave can also be taken as individual days
An additional 1 week (pro rata) leave in the case of multiple births (not multiple adoptions)

Two weeks (pro rata) statutory paternity pay

Two weeks (pro rata) full pay

Statutory paternity leave and pay should be taken with 8 weeks’ notice of the birth /adoption placement

Paternity leave and pay must be taken within six months of the child’s birth or adoption placement.

Regardless of length of service you are entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two ante natal appointments

Consideration will be given for any reasonable requests for paid time off to attend ante-natal appointments and classes supported by official evidence of appointments.

Statutory Paternity leave and pay will still apply if a still birth occurs after 24 weeks of pregnancy

Same as Statutory entitlement


Extended the right to request paid leave to the mother’s nominated carer (i.e. someone providing close personal support to an expectant mother in a situation where the mother does not have a partner and is not being supported by the child’s father).  Normally only available to a member of the mother’s immediate family.

Your employment rights are protected whist on paternity leave.


You must notify your line manager of your intention to take Paternity Leave, giving a minimum of 8 weeks’ notice, using the Form available on the HR website. (It is recognised that the actual days taken could change depending on the actual date of childbirth/date of placement for adoption.)

Shared Parental Leave

You may be eligible for Shared Parental Leave please see Shared Parental Leave Policy.

Further Advice

Further advice and guidance is available from your Link HR Team (see HR Webpages).



Updated April 2015