4. Eligibility

You must be taking time off to look after the child and be one of the following:

  • the father
  • the husband or partner of the mother (or adopter)
  • the child’s adopter

There are extra conditions you need to meet to qualify for ordinary or additional leave or pay.

Ordinary Paternity Leave

You must:

  • be an employee
  • have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)
  • give the correct notice

The ‘qualifying week’ is different if you adopt.

Ordinary Paternity Pay

You must:

  • have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)
  • be employed by your employer up to the date of birth
  • earn at least £111 a week (before tax)
  • give the correct notice

The ‘qualifying week’ is different if you adopt.

Additional Paternity Leave and Pay

The child’s mother or adopter must have qualified for one of these:

  • Statutory Maternity Leave or Pay
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay

They must have returned to work and no longer be getting any of the above.

You must:

  • have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)
  • still be employed by your employer the week (Saturday to Sunday) before your leave or pay starts
  • earn on average at least £111 a week (before tax)
  • confirm the start and end dates of your partner’s leave
  • confirm your partner has at least 2 weeks left of their maternity or adoption pay (Additional Statutory Paternity Pay only)
  • give the correct notice

You’ll only be able to take Additional Paternity Leave before 4 April 2015. You may be eligible for Shared Parental Leave and Pay if your baby is due on or after 5 April 2015.

The ‘qualifying week’ is different if you adopt.

If you lose your baby

You can still get paternity leave or pay if your baby is:

  • stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • born alive at any point during the pregnancy

If you’re not eligible

Your employer must tell you within 28 days if you don’t qualify and why using form OSPP1 (or ASPP1 if you’ve applied for additional paternity leave or pay).