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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6339
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I have a member of staff who wants 2 weeks paternity. His wife

Resolved Question:

I have a member of staff who wants 2 weeks paternity. His wife is due on the 4/11/14 - I have no problem giving him 2 weeks off but I need to know when he's actually having the time off. Can I make him plan his paternity based on the expected due date? Or can he states that he wants it from the actual birth date - and just be off whenever?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 3 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.

taratill :

The regulations require the man to tell you how much paternity leave they intend to take, either 1 or 2 weeks and they require the man to tell you roughly when they expect the leave to start.

taratill :

The start of the leave cannot be before the birth of the child so you cannot impose a start date based on the expected due date.

taratill :

The law says that the leave must be taken within 56 days of the birth of the child.

Customer:

but the .gov.uk website says



  • an agreed number of days after the expected week of childbirth

taratill :

Please can you send me the link that you refer to?

Customer:

https://www.gov.uk/employers-paternity-pay-leave/entitlement

taratill :

Ok thanks I'm just going to check the regulations themselves. Give me a moment.

taratill :

This is taken from the regulations word for word

taratill :

)Provision under subsection (2)(b) shall secure that leave under this section must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s birth.

Customer:

so what does that mean?

taratill :

The 56 day period during which the leave should be taken starts with the date of birth NOT the expected week of childbirth.

taratill :

I think that the Gov website is very confusing and is wrong.

taratill :

This means that leave cannot be imposed before the birthdate. The danger with stating that the leave must be taken on the Expected week of childbirth is that the child could be early or late.

taratill :

This would mean that you would be in breach of the regulations.

taratill :

I know that this makes it difficult for planning, especially if you are a small business but you would risk being in breach of the regulations if you do what you say.

Customer:

So basically the employee can just do what they want? Is there any way of enforcing them to take the leave at an agreed time.

taratill :

No the provisions do not allow for this, the employer need to tell you up front when they want the leave to start and how long it should be. This is normally on the actual birth date for one or two weeks. Once they have told you when they want to take it they cannot change the date without giving you notice. The difficulty is that no one can be certain on what date a child will be born.

taratill :

Sorry that should have said employee needs to tell you not employer.

Customer:

gutted! What if my employee contract says all leave must be agreed in advance?

taratill :

Makes no difference I'm afraid as the statute law would prevail in those circumstances.

taratill :

I'm sorry that this is not the answer you wanted. You just risk a problem if you do not give leave in line with the regulations.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer:

ok

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