Statutory Paternity Pay & Leave For Fathers

Additional statutory paternity pay/leave (ASPP/ASPL) is a new statutory right for fathers of children who were due on or after 3rd April 2011. It gives fathers a right of up to 26 weeks’ extra leave which can be taken once the mother has returned to work. Up to 19 weeks can be paid as long as the leave taken is during the mother’s maternity pay period and she is no longer in receipt of statutory maternity pay, statutory adoption pay or maternity allowance.

ASPP is only payable during the mother’s maternity pay period. That is the 39 consecutive weeks in which SMP would be payable if the mother had not returned early. The earliest the ASPL can start is 20 weeks after the child is born. It cannot start before the mother has returned to work. The ASPL has to be taken in complete continuous weeks and can be for a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 26 weeks. The ASPL can continue until the child’s first birthday, but any leave taken after the mother’s maternity pay period ends will be unpaid.

The father must be continuously employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due. The current rate of Statutory Paternity Pay is £128.73 which is due to increase from April 2012 to £135.45 per week. The father will be entitled to the current rate of ASPP at the time of payment, or 90% of their average earnings, whichever is less.

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