As little as 1% of men use their ‘additional paternity leave’ entitlement according to a recent study. In 2011 the Government introduced additional paternity leave entitlements in order to provide UK’s employees with a better work/life balance. Due to recent decisions to change entitlements for working parents, the current system will be abolished in 2015 and replaced by a completely flexible leave system. Below are a few key points of current paternity leave measures:
Ordinary Paternity Leave
Additional Paternity Leave
Additional paternity leave appears to lack popularity due to the low fixed statutory rate of pay, currently set at £136.78.
Although many companies offer good maternity packages, not so many have considered additional entitlements should the father wish to take an extended period of time off. In the main, typically men earn more than women and therefore in the majority of cases it is the mother who stays home providing childcare. Employers are not bound to offer any additional payments in excess of the statutory minimum.
At the 39 week point after the birth, statutory payments cease and a father on additional paternity leave will receive no pay for the rest of the leave period. This coincides with the point that mother’s maternity pay would have stopped, if the leave had remained with the mother.
The Government are addressing the paternity leave polices and in 2015 are planning to introduce shared parental leave. This will allow parents to break up their leave periods to a minimum one week period, which, if they choose can be alternated for a maximum of 50 weeks.
Further information can be obtained from www.gov.uk