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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) - general information: notification and time limits for the start of SPP

The employee should notify their employer:

  • for birth cases by the Saturday of the 15th week before the week the baby is due, and
  • for adoption cases give 28 days notice

to start SPP which

  • must be made in writing
  • should normally be given in person, but may be given on the employee’s behalf
  • can be given by post (the date of notice is the date it is posted), phone, fax or email.

The employee must tell the employer:

  • the expected date of birth or actual date of birth
  • the date the child is expected to be placed with them. This should be shown on the evidence from the adoption agency or social services
  • when they want to start being paid SPP
  • whether one or two weeks will be taken.

If it is not reasonably practicable to give the employer the statutory notice, the employee must do so as soon as soon as possible.

If the employee gives the employer notice late the employer will need to decide if it was reasonably practicable for the employee to have given them notice on time. This will depend on the particular circumstances such as

  • if the baby was born early
  • the time between the date the adopter is told they have been matched with a child and the date the child is placed with them. Often there is very little time between the date the adopter is matched with a child and the date the child is placed. If the employee is giving notice because of this the employer must accept it.

The employee should notify their employer of their intention to take paternity leave by

  • the Saturday of the 15th week before the week the baby is due, and
  • within seven days of the matching date for adoption.

If the date they want to take their statutory paternity leave changes, they must give their employer 28 days notice of the new date if that is reasonably practicable.

Adoptions from abroad

First stage

The employee must tell their employer the date on which they were sent Official Notification (ON) from the relevant UK authority of their eligibility to adopt a child from overseas and the date the child is expected to enter the UK:

  • within 28 days of receiving Official Notification if they have already completed 26 weeks continuous employment when the Official Notification was sent, or
  • within 28 days of the Sunday of the week when they complete 26 weeks employment if they haven’t already done so when the Official Notification was sent.

Second stage

The employee should then tell the employer when they want their SPP and paternity leave to start at least 28 days beforehand and whether they are taking one or two weeks leave.

If the employee has a good reason for giving the employer less notice than this the employer should accept it. The employee can tell the employer when they want their statutory paternity leave and SPP to start at the first stage if they know then.

Employees can change their mind about the date on which they want their SPP and statutory paternity leave to start providing they tell their employer at least 28 days in advance of the new date, or as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Third stage

The employee must tell the employer the date the child enters the UK within 28 days of that date.