The UK government has recently announced significant changes to statutory paternity leave and pay regulations, coming into effect this year.

The new regulations aim to enhance support for families and promote gender equality in parental responsibilities, in a broader effort to modernise the workplace for new parents.

In this blog, we’ll detail the key changes and implications for employees and employers to get you ready for the new law:

Key changes to paternity leave and pay

Increase in Statutory Paternity Pay

From April 2024, Statutory Paternity Pay will rise from £172.48 per week to £183.04 per week, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

This increase will come into effect in Great Britain – it has not been confirmed for Northern Ireland – and will help to alleviate the financial pressure on families during the crucial early stages of a child’s life.

Flexibility in taking paternity leave and pay

From 8th March 2024, employees can take their paternity leave and pay any time in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of their child, instead of only in the first eight weeks after adoption or birth.

Fathers and partners will also be able to split their leave and pay into two separate one-week periods, instead of only being able to take it in one block of one or two weeks as is currently the case.

This added flexibility is intended to help families use their leave at a time that suits their needs, and achieve a better work-life balance.

Shorter notice period

From 8th March 2024, employees will only need to give 28 days’ (4 weeks) notice period, instead of the current 15-week notice period before the expected week of childbirth or adoption. This will enable families to spend quality time together when they need it.

Who is eligible?

Fathers and partners will be eligible to claim Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay under the new rules if the expected date of birth of their baby is after 6 April 2024, or if the child is born early

and before this date. This includes children due to be placed for adoption, or enter Great Britain for adoption, on or after 6 April 2024.

Fathers and partners can begin taking Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay as soon as their baby is born, or any time in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of their child.

Next steps for employers

Employers should begin reviewing their current paternity leave policies and consider how they will integrate these changes.

Businesses will need to prepare for these changes by updating their HR policies and practices. Employers will have to accommodate changing and potentially additional paternity leave requests, as well as the potential need for additional cover to manage workloads effectively.

It’s also important to communicate upcoming changes to your staff and provide guidance on how the new policies will be implemented.

How LeavePlanner can help

Track paternity leave easily

LeavePlanner offers a centralised system for tracking all leave requests, including paternity leave. This makes it easier for HR departments and managers to oversee leave balances to successfully navigate the updated paternity leave regulations.

Save time with automated notifications

Our system sends notifications to both employees and their managers about upcoming leave, changes to leave requests and approvals. This ensures everyone is informed and can plan accordingly.

Supports compliance

To ensure your organisation remains compliant with regulations, you can set up custom leave policies in LeavePlanner and align these with the latest legal requirements.

Maintain correct staffing levels

Employers can generate reports to analyse leave patterns, which can be useful for planning purposes and addressing issues, such as staffing levels during certain periods.

Arrange your free trial today! For easy-to-use absence management software, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email support@leaveplanner.com.

Pssst! Check out our new all-in-one system, HR Planner, which incorporates a user-friendly leave management solution, designed specifically with SMEs in mind.

 

For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email support@leaveplanner.com

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