Skip to main content
Family at home
3 min read

What is statutory paternity pay?

All businesses that pay staff may need to pay statutory paternity pay if an employee wishes to take time off work if they and their partner are: having a baby, adopting a child, or having a baby via a surrogacy arrangement.

What is statutory paternity pay?

Statutory paternity pay (SPP) is an amount that is payable by employers to eligible employees. To see if an employee qualifies for SPP a YES answer is required for ALL of the following questions. 

Question Detail
1. Is the employee either the father, husband or partner of the mother (or adopter)?  
2. Does the employee have a contract of employment? The employee must have done some work under that contract.
3. Does the employee earn at least £123 per week? If the employee is paid an irregular amount the average weekly earnings for the last eight weeks must be calculated. 
4. Has the employee worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the qualifying week? The qualifying week is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (this will differ for adoption). 
5. Has the employee given you the correct notice? This is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (this will differ for adoption). 
6. Has the employee given you proof of their pregnancy? The employee can complete the following form to ask for leave and pay – Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave: becoming a birth parent (SC3). The form can be found on the GOV.UK website. Proof of pregnancy can also be in the form of a doctor’s letter or a maternity certificate (MATB1). The rules are different to adoption. 
7. Is the employee taking time off to look after a child?  
8. Is the employee responsible for the child’s upbringing?  

A form called SPP 1 must be completed if the employee is not eligible.

How much is statutory paternity pay?

SPP can be paid for a maximum of two weeks.

The amount is the lower of:

  1. £184.03, or
  2. 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings.

The following GOV.UK tool will help you to calculate statutory paternity pay.

When do I have to pay statutory paternity pay?

An eligible employee can take one or two weeks’ paternity leave and SPP will be paid for the length of time taken. 

Paternity leave cannot start before the birth date and must finish with 56 days of the birth (due date if the baby is early). These dates will differ for adoption.

How do I pay statutory paternity pay?

SPP is payable to employees in the usual way that their salaries and wages are paid. Income tax and national insurance need to be deducted under the normal rules.

What paperwork do I need to complete?

You must keep the following records for three years from the end of the tax year to which they relate:

  • the date SPP started
  • the dates and amounts of the SPP paid
  • the SPP which has been reclaimed
  • any weeks that SPP was not paid and the reasons why.

The details can be recorded on a Statutory Paternity Pay record sheet (SPP2).


Can I reclaim statutory paternity pay?

As an employer you can claim back part of all of the SPP you have paid.

  • In the warehouse
    Large employers

    Large employers can reclaim 92% of the SPP paid. 

  • In the warehouse
    Small employers

    100% of the SPP paid can be reclaimed by small employers. In addition a further 3% of the SPP paid can be reclaimed as National Insurance Compensation. To qualify as a small employer you must have paid £45,000 or less in Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (the total employees contributions deducted from their pay plus the total employers contributions). The £45,000 relates to the last complete tax year before the qualifying week (the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth).

  • Typing
    Payroll and reclaims

    Use your payroll software to calculate how much SMP can be reclaimed and reclaim the SPP by submitting an Employer Payment Summary (EPS).  As an employer you are required to pay SPP to your employee and claim it back at a later date. If you can’t afford to make the payment for SPP you can apply for an advance payment. Visit the GOV.UK website for an application.

What is additional paternity pay?

An employee can request Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP)  if their partner returns to work before the end of their maternity (or adoption) pay or leave period.

The Additional Paternity Leave (APL) can be for two to 26 weeks.

The ASPP is the lower of:

  1. £184.03, or
  2. 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings.

The leave can only start 20 weeks after the birth (or adoption) and ends on the child’s first birthday (or one year after the adoption). The pay must stop when the partner’s maternity (or adoption) pay would have ended. Therefore, an employee could be taking additional paternity leave without receiving ASPP.

The following forms are available in relation to ASPP:

  1. Additional Statutory Paternity Pay and Additional Paternity Leave: becoming a parent 
  2. Additional Statutory Paternity Pay: non payment explanation (ASPP1) 
  3. Additional Statutory Paternity Pay: record sheet (ASPP2) 
End of Article
Share this content

Brought to you by:

AAT Business Finance Basics

AAT Business Finance Basics are a series of online e-learning courses covering the core financial skills every business needs. They draw from AAT’s world-leading qualifications and will quickly build your knowledge on key topics including bookkeeping, budgeting and cash flow.

Visit partner's website

Register with Informi today:

  • Join over 30,000 like-minded business professionals.
  • Create your own personalised account with curated reading lists and checklists.
  • Access exclusive resources including business plans, templates, and tax calculators.
  • Receive the latest business advice and insights from Informi.
  • Join in the discussion through the comments section.