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
  • the intended parent (if you’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement)

There are extra conditions you need to meet to qualify for leave and pay.

You can’t get paternity pay and leave if you’ve taken paid time off to attend adoption appointments.

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.

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 £112 a week (before tax)
  • give the correct notice

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 SPP1.