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

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. The University Nursery also provides childcare at subsidised rates depending on eligibility and availability.

1.2 The University provides an Enhanced Paternity Leave Scheme, which exceeds the statutory provision by providing for two weeks on full pay. 

1.3 This policy sets out all entitlements and associated processes that apply to paternity leave and pay. Whilst known as ‘Paternity Leave’, this policy equally applies to same sex partners.

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 are entitled following the 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.

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 full two weeks of Ordinary Paternity Leave.

Shared Parental Leave

An alternative or supplementary option to maternity or adoption leave, which allows a proportion of maternity or adoption leave to be converted and shared with a 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

2.1 Expectant fathers or partners of pregnant employees/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 or partner of the pregnant employees’s expected child
  • the spouse or partner of the pregnant employee or main adopter

2.2    The expectant father or partner 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

3.1 The University offers Enhanced Paternity Pay which exceeds the statutory provision by providing full pay for the full two weeks of Paternity Leave. 

3.2 In order to be eligible for for 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; or the adopter’s spouse or partner.
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 In order to be eligible for Enhanced Paternity Pay, employees must simply be working as an employee of the University at the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWOC). 

4. Notification Process

4.1  It is recognised that the timing of Paternity Leave cannot be fully predicted. Employees should therefore give as much notice as possible to their manager of the likely or actual dates to be taken.

4.2  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.

4.3  When requesting the leave, the employee will also be asked to declare that the absence from work is to care for the relevant child and/or to support the child's mother/main adopter. 

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)

6.1 Shared Parental Leave allows eligible parents to convert maternity or adoption 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

7.1  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 which would have applied had they not been absent.

7.3  Any period of paternity leave does not affect 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  Paternity leave does not impact on an employee’s ability to progress through the normal annual increments on the University’s salary scale in accordance with their terms and conditions of employment.

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

8.1 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). 

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

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

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

06 April 2021


Central HR – Employee Relations