We are sharing this update from ACCA, our professional body, for the interest of clients and contacts. The content is (c) ACCA

New legislation represents a progressive shift in parental leave rights

On 8 March 2024, England, Scotland and Wales implemented new legislation affecting statutory paternity leave and pay regulations, set to take effect for children due to be born or placed for adoption after 6 April 2024.

These changes:

  • will allow fathers and partners to take their leave in non-consecutive blocks. Currently, only one block of leave can be taken, which can be either one or two weeks. The changes will remove this barrier by enabling fathers to take two non-consecutive weeks of leave
  • will allow fathers and partners to take their leave and pay at any point in the first year after the birth or adoption of their child. This gives fathers and partners more flexibility to take their paternity leave at a time that works for their family.

Employees are required to inform their employer of their entitlement to paternity leave 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. However, they only need to give 28 days’ notice of the dates they intend to take their leave. This allows for more spontaneous adjustments to accommodate evolving family needs.

These alterations signify a progressive shift in parental leave rights, promoting shared responsibilities both in the workplace and at home. Employers must collaborate with staff representatives to revise local policies and procedures to ensure compliance with these legislative changes.

For comprehensive details, refer to Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024.