You can choose to take either 1 or 2 weeks. You get the same amount of leave if your partner has a multiple birth (such as twins).
You must take your leave in one go. A week is the same amount of days that you normally work in a week - for example, a week is 2 days if you only work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Start and end dates
Leave cannot start before the birth. It must end within 56 days of the birth.
You must give your employer 28 days’ notice if you want to change your start date.
You do not have to give a precise date when you want to take leave (for example 1 February). Instead you can give a general time, such as the day of the birth or 1 week after the birth.
The rules are different if you adopt.
Shared Parental Leave
You may also be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL). You cannot take Paternity Leave after you take SPL.
Leave for antenatal appointments
You can take unpaid leave to accompany a pregnant woman to 2 antenatal appointments if you’re:
- the baby’s father
- the expectant mother’s spouse or civil partner
- in a long-term relationship with the expectant mother
- the intended parent (if you’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement)
You can take up to 6 and a half hours per appointment. Your employer can choose to give you longer.
You can apply for leave immediately if you’re a permanent employee. You’ll need to have been doing a job for 12 weeks before you qualify if you’re an agency worker.