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.
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 £112 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 here. 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. The form can be found here.
As an employer you can claim back part of all of the SPP you have paid.
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:
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: