19 January 2024

The new Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 have been laid and come into force on 8 March 2024.

But this does not mean the changes from that date, they apply where the expected week of birth begins after 6 April 2024, with the four-week eligibility window meaning the regulations need to be in place from 8 March 2024.

As a reminder, the changes coming are:

  • new parents can leave in two non-consecutive periods of one week or a single two-week block
  • leave can be taken within 52 weeks of the birth / placement
  • only notice of entitlement needs to be given 15 weeks prior to birth / placement of adoption
  • four weeks’ notice to be given before taking paternity leave periods.

These changes apply to England, Scotland and Wales. Employment law is devolved in Northern Ireland.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) shared a situation with the CIPP policy team, which should be very rare, that you may need to be aware of. Should an employee be eligible for paternity leave under the new rules have a premature birth and take two separate weeks of paternity leave before 6 April 2024, only one of those weeks can have the 92% statutory payment reclaim processed prior to 6 April 2024. This is due to HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) system not being updated until the tax year ends. The second week can be reclaimed after 6 April 2024.

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