Adding to paternity leave - Ordinary parental leave

Adding to paternity leave

If an employee is entitled to take statutory paternity leave, they can add unpaid parental leave to it.

This allows more time off work for them to care for their partner and new child.

An employee can do this if they and their partner are:

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

An employer cannot postpone the dates of parental leave if their employee has asked to start it on the day of birth or adoption. The employee can take paternity leave after parental leave.

Employees can also take parental leave any time after paternity leave. But the employer would be able to postpone it if it would cause problems at work.

Example of taking parental leave before paternity leave

Dani has booked a week of unpaid parental leave to start on the day their partner gives birth. Dani's employer cannot ask them to postpone this parental leave.

They will then take their 2 weeks' statutory paternity leave after. This means Dani will have a total of 3 weeks off work to look after their partner and child.

Notice for taking parental leave before paternity leave

To take parental leave before paternity leave the employee must give their employer at least 21 days' notice before their:

  • baby is expected to be born
  • adoption placement is due to start

Find out more about paternity leave and pay

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