Keeping in touch and returning to work - Paternity leave and pay

Keeping in touch and returning to work

Employers and employees should communicate clearly with each other about:

  • how they'll keep in touch when the employee is on paternity leave
  • the employee's return to work

Keeping in touch

Before they start statutory paternity leave, the employee and their employer should agree how they both want to:

  • keep in touch
  • cover the employee's work while they're on leave
  • arrange the employee's return to work

By law, while an employee is on statutory paternity leave their employer must tell them about any:

  • promotion or other job opportunities
  • redundancies
  • reorganisations that could affect their job

Returning to work

When an employee returns to work after statutory paternity leave, by law their job and its terms must remain the same.

If an employee wants to change how they work

An employee might want to change how they work after having a child. For example, their working hours or working from home.

They might have the right to make a flexible working request.

Time off for emergencies

By law, an employee has the right to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to look after 'dependants' in an emergency.

This could be to help their child or partner when there's an unexpected:

  • illness
  • injury
  • change in care arrangements

Find out more about time off for dependants

Taking more time off

There are ways someone can take more time off to be with their child.

Ordinary parental leave

Parents have the right to 'ordinary parental leave'. This is unpaid time off work to be with their child.

Each parent can take:

  • up to 18 weeks for each child up to their 18th birthday
  • a maximum of 4 weeks a year for each child

Find out more about ordinary parental leave

Shared parental leave

Eligible parents can get up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave.

Find out more about shared parental leave

Contact the Acas helpline

If you have any questions about paternity leave, contact the Acas helpline.

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