Changes to statutory paternity leave – new regulations published
The Government has published draft regulations that will make changes to the current statutory paternity leave provisions. The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 are proposed to come into force in March 2024.
Changes under the draft regulations include that eligible employees wishing to take paternity leave:
- will be able to take their leave as two one-week, non-consecutive blocks. Currently, the entitlement is to one period of leave, which the employee can choose to take either as a single one week or two week block of leave.
- will be able to take their leave at any point in the first year after the birth of their child. Currently, the leave must be taken within the first 8 weeks after the birth.
- will be required to give 28 days’ notice of the date on which they want their paternity leave and pay to start. This shortens, in most cases, the notice period required under current provisions.
- will be able to give 28 days’ notice to vary the dates of their leave.
The draft regulations will apply to babies whose expected week of birth begins after 6 April 2024. Separate regulations will be published making changes to the statutory paternity pay scheme.
This is one of a number of changes due to come into force in 2024, including changes to flexible working requests, the introduction of carer’s leave, and provision of enhanced redundancy protection for pregnant women. Employers should begin the process of reviewing their policies and handbooks and prepare to update them where necessary.
22 January 2024
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