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News - 11 April 2011

Additional Paternity Leave What does it mean?

The new legislation came into effect on the 6th April 2011

The right to additional paternity leave (APL) under the new Regulations will apply to parents of babies due on or after 3 April 2011, and for adoptive parents who are notified of having been matched with a child on or after that date. This new right will operate in addition to the existing right for new fathers to take two weeks of leave around the time of the birth (or placement in the case of adoption).

Additional paternity leave (APL) means a father can take up to 26 weeks' leave to care for the child. However, the father must have been on a continuous contract with his employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due.
A father returning to work after a period of APL will be entitled to the same right to return to work as a mother returning to work after ordinary maternity leave.
Parents have the option of dividing maternity leave between them. Fathers have the legal right to take up the final three months of paid maternity leave due to the mother provided she returns to work, to be paid at a flat rate that is equivalent to SMP (from April 2010 £124.88 a week). They will be paid the statutory maternity pay per week for the three-month period.

They will also have the chance to take a further three months of unpaid leave, bringing the total amount of parental time-off for couples of newborn children to 12 months.

Fathers can only start their APL 20 or more weeks after the child's birth, and once their partner has returned to work from statutory maternity leave or ended their entitlement to statutory maternity pay, or maternity allowance.

Lavinia Newman of ABDS says

“In preparation for the legislation coming into force it is a good idea for employers to:

• Update (or introduce) paternity and maternity policies as a guide through the procedure for dealing with this and also to prevent confusion.
• Introduce new paternity leave request forms together with father and mother declaration forms.
• Also update adoption policies.”

If you need any help and advice on this or a similar matter don’t hesitate, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar NOW to discuss how ABDS can help in all your business advice and financial planning.
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds.marketing@netaccountants.net

For a full list of ABDS’ News Briefings go to: www.netaccountants.net

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