Changes in paternity pay and leave – what businesses need to know

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Changes in paternity pay and leave
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Estelle Hardwick

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About Estelle Hardwick

Estelle is the Director of AMR, overseeing the Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Chatham branches. She makes sure that AMR provides exceptional support to each and every client.

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Managing maternity and paternity leave can be a juggling act, mostly for the new parents, but also for the businesses they work for. In June 2023 the government published the results of its consultation on parental leave and pay, and the March 2024 budget contained the resulting changes in the paternity leave regulations. All employers need to ensure they are up to speed with these.

Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) is the right of eligible employees to take two weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, to care for the child and provide support to their partner. Prior to the budget, this leave had to be taken as one week only, or as two consecutive weeks, but couldn’t be taken as two separate weeks or individual days. A further requirement was that the leave period must be taken within 56 days of the birth of the child or the date that an adopted child was placed with their new family.

A father sitting on the floor holding a baby with a laptop on his lap

There were three main changes in the recent budget; we’ve put together a quick summary of what businesses need to know:

  • New fathers and partners are now able to take their two weeks of leave entitlement in two separate periods of one week, or as a single two-week period. This gives more flexibility regarding when the leave is taken.
  • This leave period can be taken at any time in the 52 weeks following the birth or adoption of the child.
  • The notice period of intention to take paternity leave following the birth of a child has been reduced to 28 days before the date of the two-week period, or each of the single week periods. Prior to this, the notice was 15 weeks before the expected date of childbirth. For adoption, the notice period remains unchanged at 7 days prior to the employee being informed of their being matched with a child.


Employers need to be aware of these changes to ensure the correct payroll adjustments; the law has changed to allow eligible employees to receive their Statutory Paternity Payment (SPP) for the time period they choose to take. The rate of payment is whichever is the lower of 90% of the employee’s normal weekly earnings, or the prescribed statutory rate, which from 7 April became £184.03 per week. In addition, company paternity leave policies and employee handbooks will need to be updated.

At AMR Bookkeeping, we keep a keen eye on all budget changes which affect payroll and other bookkeeping procedures. If you need advice about the new paternity leave regulations, or any other aspect of bookkeeping, why not call our friendly and helpful team? Contact us on 01892 559480 or get in touch by completing our contact us form.

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