Additional paternity rights come into force
New regulations which introduce the additional paternity rights contained in the Work and Families Act 2006 have come into force and the new provisions will take effect from April 2011.
They apply to fathers of babies born after 3 April 2011 who will be entitled to take up to 26 weeks off work in circumstances where the mother decides to return to work early. The leave must not start until at least 20 weeks after the birth and must end not later than 12 months after the birth, and it may only be taken in multiples of complete weeks.
Where the additional paternity leave is taken during the mother's 39 week maternity pay period, it will be paid leave, at the same rate and in the same way as Statutory Maternity Pay (which increases in April 2010 to £124.88 per week).
Parents will be required to 'self-certify' by providing details of their eligibility to their employer. Employers and HMRC will both be able to carry out further checks of entitlement if necessary.
The provisions also apply to parents of adopted children who are told that a match has been approved on or after 3 April 2011.
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