11 August 2023

Legislation in regard to statutory paternity pay and leave changes will take effect from 6 April 2024.

Changes to the existing Paternity Pay and Leave (PPL) entitlement, led out of the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), will introduce greater flexibility for fathers, moving to a more equal system of parental leave and pay to promote gender equality.

HMRC partly administers this entitlement by providing the forms (SC3, SC4, and SC5) to apply for PPL along with dispute forms (SPP1 and SPP2), requests for advance funding, and online eligibility calculators and guidance for both employers and employees.

Following consultation in 2019 the new policy, which covers Great Britain and not Northern Ireland, will come into effect from 6 April 2024 with the following changes:

  • employed fathers-to-be will now provide 28 days' notice prior to the dates they wish to take for paternity pay/leave
  • an employed father will be able to take PPL in two non-consecutive periods of 1 week or a 2-week block within 52 weeks of the birth of the child or placement for adoption
  • payroll software, Basic PAYE Tools and the online PPL calculator on GOV.UK will be updated so that an employer can calculate the pay for PPL taken in non-consecutive weeks.

The notice of entitlement period for PPL will remain unchanged.

HMRC are estimating that updated guidance will be available in line with the changes to legislation by 8 March 2024, to accommodate 28 days’ notice of of paternity pay/leave.

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