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  • Writer's pictureAustin & Carnley Solicitors

The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of paternity leave in fostering gender equality, supporting families and promoting child wellbeing. The UK government have made amendments to the current paternity leave, coming into effect on the 8th March.

As it stands currently, fathers and partners are given two weeks of statutory paternity leave. This will remain the same however the way it can be used has been amended. Prior to the amendments, fathers and partners had to take the two weeks consecutively within 56 days of the child’s birth or adoption. The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 have made it so that the two weeks can be separated into 1 week blocks and therefore do not have to be taken together. Fathers and partners can now decide to take one week at one stage of the infant's life and the second at another. As opposed to the current 8 weeks that paternity leave needs to be taken by, the two one week blocks can now be taken any time within the first year of their child’s life.

Although the amendments are coming into effect on the 8th March 2024, they will only begin applying to fathers and partners of children who are due to be born or adopted in the week commencing 6th April 2024.

Prior to the amendments, before taking the two weeks paternity leave, employees must notify their employers 15 weeks prior to taking the leave. With the 2024 amendments, the notice has been reduced significantly to 4 weeks notice before each term of absence.

The changes are providing fathers and partners the chance to be more flexible in their leave. It will also provide for the father or partner to be able to bond with their child more throughout the first year rather than only the first two months.

Although these are changes in the right direction, they are still not providing for gender equality when it comes to family. Many parents need much more support than 10 working days whether it be their first or their fourth child. Albeit the 2024 amendments serve as a testament to the ongoing commitment to creating a more inclusive society.

Written by Shelbi Martin – Trainee Solicitor



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