21 March 2024

New Paternity Leave Regulations published

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Tom Martin Senior Associate
Man holding baby and looking at work documents

After announcing proposals to make changes to paternity leave rights in summer 2023, the government have now published draft legislation in the form of the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024.

The regulations make the following changes:

  • Employees will be able to take their two-week paternity leave entitlement as two separate blocks of one week (rather than having to take just one week in total or two consecutive weeks).

  • Employees will be able to take paternity leave at any time in the 52 weeks after birth (rather than having to take leave in the 56 days following birth).

  • Employees will only need to give 28 days’ notice of their intention to take paternity leave (reduced from the previous position that required notice to be given 15 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC)).

The regulations are stated to apply in all cases where the EWC is on or after 6th April 2024.  These proposed changes are therefore due to take effect at the same time as other family-friendly legal changes including the introduction of carer’s leave, changes to flexible working rights and the extension of redundancy protection to include pregnancy and a period of time following maternity, adoption and shared parental leave.

Employers should update their policies in advance of these changes and inform managers so that requests are handled in accordance with the new rules.

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