Paternity Leave

To qualify for statutory paternity leave and pay, employees must meet the following criteria:

– Have completed 26 weeks of continuous employment with their current employer, ending 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth (or, in the case of adoption, ending with the date of the placement notification).
– Have responsibilities for the child’s upbringing.
– Be either the biological father, civil partner, or partner of the child’s mother/adopter.

It’s important to note that paternity leave is available to both male and female employees. The leave duration can be either one week or two consecutive weeks and cannot commence before the birth. Additionally, it must conclude within 56 days of the child’s birth. Importantly, statutory paternity leave cannot be taken following a period of shared parental leave for the same child.

Notification requirements vary depending on whether the paternity leave follows the birth or adoption of a child.

In the case of a birth, employees must provide written notice to their employer by the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC), or as soon as reasonably practicable. This notification should include:

– The EWC.
– Whether one or two consecutive weeks of paternity leave will be taken.
– The preferred start date of the leave.

When paternity leave relates to adoption, employees must provide written notice of their intention to take paternity leave. This notice should include:

– The date of notification of adoption.
– The expected placement date of the child with the adopter.
– The choice of taking one or two consecutive weeks of leave.
– The date on which the leave will commence.

This notification must be given within seven days of receiving official notification of a match with a child. In both birth and adoption cases, the employer may request a signed declaration from the employee, confirming that the leave is for the purpose of caring for the child or supporting the child’s mother and that the employee meets all the eligibility criteria. Furthermore, the employee must promptly inform the employer of the child’s birthdate or the date of placement for adoption.

Upon returning from paternity leave, employees are generally entitled to resume their previous position. However, salaried GPs with concerns about their return or contemplating additional statutory leave alongside paternity leave should consult the BMA to discuss any potential impact on their right to return to the same role.

For employees meeting the qualifying criteria outlined in section 1.1 and providing the required notice and evidence as specified in section 1.2, statutory paternity pay will be granted for one or two consecutive weeks of leave. This pay is at a flat rate weekly payment of £148.68 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if that amount is lower. Paternity pay will be disbursed in the same manner as the employee’s regular wages, with tax and National Insurance deductions.


Practices should follow these steps:

1. Complete the application form below

2. Submit the completed form to GMAST at, along with the following documents:

– Relevant employment contract or partnership agreement page indicating the duration of full pay during maternity leave.
– MATB1 Form.
– A letter from the GP stating the intended start date of Maternity Leave.

Practices are entitled to support for up to 26 weeks during maternity leave. The first 2 weeks are compensated at a rate of £1143.06 per week, and the remaining period is at a rate of £1751.52 per week.

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