Paternity Leave Policy

Paternity Leave Policy

The University is committed to supporting employees to understand the choices available to them when planning for the birth or adoption of a child. The Paternity Leave Policy outlines the key considerations for employees taking paternity leave and should be read in conjunction with the University's policy on Shared Parental Leave.

A PDF version of this policy is available here: Paternity Leave Policy (April 2017)

1. Introduction

1. Introduction

1.1 The University is committed to supporting employees to understand the choices available to them when planning for the birth or adoption of a child. Families now have additional options open to them with regards to managing time off during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption and this policy should be read in conjunction with the University's policies on Maternity Leave or Adoption Leave as well as Shared Parental Leave to ensure that employees are fully aware of all of the options available to them and their family.

1.2 The University provides an Enhanced Paternity Leave Scheme, which exceeds the statutory provision, to eligible employees. Employees who are not eligible for the enhanced scheme may qualify for the Statutory Paternity Leave Scheme. The University also provides a Childcare Voucher Scheme to assist employees with childcare costs and the University Nursery provides childcare at subsidised rates depending on eligibility and availability.

1.3 This policy sets out all entitlements and associated processes that apply to the available paternity leave and pay schemes.

1.4 The following definitions are used within this policy:

Expected Week of Childbirth

The week, beginning with midnight between Saturday and Sunday, in which it is expected that childbirth will occur.

Qualifying Week

The 15th week before the EWOC.

Matching Week

The week commencing the Sunday on or immediately prior to the date on which the adopter was told that they have been told by the adoption agency that they have been matched with a child for adoption.

Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL)

A 2 week period of leave to which employees may be entitled provided they have the necessary service with the University, and have complied with the notification requirements set out below. During this period of leave, employees will continue to receive all relevant terms and conditions of employment except (unless otherwise agreed) salary and pension.
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)

This is paid by the University to employees who meet the statutory eligibility criteria. This is paid at the statutory rate set by the Government in the relevant tax year.

Enhanced Paternity Pay (EPP)

This is an enhanced rate paid by the University in addition to (or on top of) any SPP entitlement as an additional benefit to eligible employees, to allow them to receive full pay for the first week of Ordinary Paternity Leave period of time.

Shared Parental Leave

An alternative or supplementary option to maternity leave, which allows a mother to reduce her maternity leave entitlement and share the remainder of her time off with her partner (if eligible). Details are available in the University’s Shared Parental Leave Policy.

1.5 The provisions of this policy apply to all employees, irrespective of the type of contract they have. Any questions or concerns regarding eligibility should be directed to the relevant College/University Services HR Team.

2. Antenatal/Adoption Appointments

2. Antenatal/Adoption Appointments

2.1 Expectant fathers or partners of pregnant women/main adopters have a right to take unpaid time off during working hours to accompany them to up to two antenatal appointments made on the advice of a Medical Practitioner, or to two adoption appointments.

The right is available to:

  • the father of the pregnant woman’s expected child
  • the spouse or partner of the pregnant woman or main adopter

2.2    Where the expectant father or partner is an employee of the University, they may be requested to provide evidence of any appointments to their line manager by declaring the following:

  • The date and time of the appointment;
  • That they qualify for the time off through their relationship to the mother or child;
  • That the time off is for the purpose of attending an appropriate appointment with the expectant mother or main adopter

Where possible, appointments should be made at times which cause minimal disruption to the working day. 

Managers should try to allow for a degree of flexibility (e.g. allowing an employee paid time off to attend an appointment on the basis that the time will be worked back), if possible, where an employee wishes to attend an appropriate appointment but does not wish to take unpaid leave.

3. Paternity Leave & Pay Entitlement

3. Paternity Leave & Pay Entitlement

3.1 The University offers an Enhanced Paternity Leave Scheme to eligible employees, which exceeds the statutory provision by providing Enhanced Paternity Pay (EPP) equivalent to full pay for the first week of Paternity Leave. Employees who are not eligible for the enhanced scheme may qualify for the Statutory Paternity Leave Scheme.

3.2 In order to be eligible for either form of Paternity Leave, an employee must:

Have, or expect to have, responsibility for the child’s upbringing (born or adopted), and must be making the request for leave to care for the child and/or to support the mother or carer of the baby or child 

Be the biological father of the child; the mother’s husband, civil partner or partner (including same sex partners); or the adopter’s spouse or partner (including same sex partners).
Have had average earnings above the "lower earnings limit" for national insurance purposes for the relevant period (i.e. based on the ‘qualifying week’ for births and the ‘matching week’ for adoptions).
Comply with the notification process set out in Section 4.

3.3 Where an employee is a parent in a surrogacy arrangement who is entitled to and intends to apply for a Parental Order, they will be able to take paternity leave (or shared parental Leave) providing they meet the normal qualifying conditions.

3.4 An employee's length of service with the University determines the scheme to which they are entitled as per the table below. Providing an employee meets the criteria at 2.2 above; the different scheme entitlements (particularly relating to pay) are as shown below:

Type of leave/scheme            

Length of continuous service with University           

Entitlement/pay

Enhanced Paternity Leave Scheme

Minimum of 52 weeks’ service1 prior to:

  • The end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

Or

  • The week in which they are notified of having been matched with a child for adoption
Providing the criteria at 3.2 is also met

Two weeks of Ordinary Paternity Leave paid as follows:

  • Week 1 - Paid at full pay
  • Week 2 - Paid at the Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)  rate*

Employees can choose to take either one weeks’ leave or two consecutive weeks' leave but must take all of their leave in one go.  The leave must be taken in blocks of whole weeks and must be completed within 8 weeks of the birth or adoption of the child.

Statutory Paternity Leave Scheme 

Minimum of 26 weeks’ (but less than 52 weeks’) service prior to:

  • The end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

Or

  • The week in which they are notified of having been matched with a child for adoption
Providing the criteria at 3.2 is also met

Two weeks Ordinary Paternity Leave paid at the Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) rate*

Employees can choose to take either one weeks’ leave or two consecutive weeks' leave but must take all of their leave in one go.  The leave must be taken in blocks of whole weeks and must be completed within 8 weeks of the birth or adoption of the child.

Alternative Options

Less than 26 weeks’ service prior to:

  • The end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

Or

  • The week in which they are notified of having been matched with a child for adoption

and/or

Earnings below the lower earnings limit" for national insurance purposes for the relevant period.

Employees who are not entitled to Paternity Leave may request leave through other means and may wish to consider options such as requesting annual leave or unpaid special leave.

Alternatively, employees may find that they qualify for Paternity Leave but not Statutory Paternity Pay.

1For staff employed by the University, from the NHS, who are undertaking an approved training programme in order to obtain their CCT certification, continuous service with the NHS is recognised for the purposes of paternity entitlement.

*SPP equals the lesser of the statutory SPP rate set by the Government in the relevant tax year or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings.

4. Notification Process

4. Notification Process

4.1 Employees should notify their line manager through Employee Self Service of their intention to take Paternity Leave in or before the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (or, in the case of the adoption of a child, within 7 days of having been notified by the adoption agency of the match with a child).   When requesting the leave, the employee will be required to specify:

  • The expected week of childbirth, or the date the child is expected to be placed for adoption together with the date that the adopter was notified of having been matched with a child;
  • The date on which the employee has chosen the leave to commence (the option of commencing the leave on the ‘actual date of birth’ will be given);
  • The length of paternity leave they wish to take i.e. a one or two week period.

4.2 When requesting the leave, the employee will also be asked to declare that they meet the statutory eligibility requirements for the leave and that the purpose of the absence from work is to care for the relevant child and/or to support the child's mother/main adopter. 

4.3 The employee can change the date on which they wish their paternity leave to commence provided that they give 28 days’ written notice of new start date to their line manager (with a copy to the relevant College/University Services HR team), or, if that is not possible, they notify them as soon as reasonably practicable.

4.4 On having been notified of the request for paternity leave, the relevant College/University Services HR team will write out to the employee to confirm the leave and pay arrangements. 

5. Commencement of Paternity Leave

5. Commencement of Paternity Leave

5.1 Eligible employees may commence their paternity leave any time from the date of the birth/placement of their child (subject to compliance with the notification procedures), however the leave must be completed within 8 weeks following the birth/placement. 

6. Shared Parental Leave (SPL)

6. Shared Parental Leave (SPL)

6.1 Shared Parental Leave allows eligible parents to convert a mother’s maternity leave into Shared Parental Leave which can then be shared between both parents as they wish in order to share the care of their child during the first year. Full details can be found in the University’s Shared Parental Leave Policy.

7. Additional Information

7. Additional Information

7.1 Paternity leave and pay covers both single and multiple births and, with regard to adoption, the placement of one child or more.  The employee's entitlement to leave and pay will, therefore, remain the same irrespective of the number of children born as a result of the same pregnancy or placed for adoption as part of the same arrangement.

7.2 During periods of ordinary paternity leave, employees are entitled to all relevant terms and conditions of employment (except for payment of salary/pension) which would have applied had they not been absent.

7.3 Where an employee exercises their right to return to work following a period of paternity leave, the period of absence will be considered continuous service with the University.

7.4 Pension rights and contributions shall be managed in accordance with the provisions of the relevant superannuation scheme, providing that these provisions do not conflict with any statutory requirements that may apply at the time.

7.5  Employees will be entitled to progress through the normal annual increments on the University’s salary scale in accordance with their terms and conditions of employment, to take effect from the normal incremental date.

7.6   Annual leave entitlement will continue to accrue, as normal, during paternity leave.  Any accrued annual leave may be used in lieu of an equivalent amount of unpaid paternity leave subject to the approval of the Head of School/RI/University Service.

8. Other Provisions

8. Other Provisions

8.1 Average weekly earnings will be calculated in accordance with the statutory paternity pay regulations that may apply at that time.

8.2 An eligible employee will remain eligible for paternity leave (and/or pay) if their baby is stillborn after the start of the 24th week of pregnancy, or if their baby dies after being born. In such circumstances, unused maternity leave cannot be converted into Shared Parental Leave (as per Section 6). 

8.3 This policy will be regularly reviewed by the University and may be amended at any time following appropriate consultation. 

9. Further Information

9. Further Information

For further advice and information on this policy, please contact your College/University Services HR Team.

The following links may also be helpful:

Shared Parental Leave Policy

Maternity Leave Policy

Adoption Leave Policy

Ordinary Parental Leave Policy

Emergency Time Off to Care for Dependants

University of Glasgow Childcare Voucher Scheme

University Nursery

Maternity Cost Calculator

Further information on maternity allowance and benefits can be viewed on the Direct Gov website at:
Expecting or bringing up children benefits

 

 

Document Control

 

Policy name

Paternity Leave Policy

Implementation date

10 April 2015

Last reviewed

03 April 2017

Next review

02 April 2018

Owner

Central HR – Employee Relations

Reviewed by

Chris Branney - HR Advisor