By Ros Kindersley
Paternity: how business should approach paternity rights for father?
Since its introduction in April 2003, paternity leave has been much debated. Some argue fathers should enjoy the same rights as mothers and be entitled to take time off work when their baby is born. Others feel that the cost for businesses, reported to be £126m that is lost every year by covering paternity leaves, is too great an impact on business. As companies become more savvy in their approach towards staff retention, JFL is seeing a more constructive and supportive attitude being...
...adopted towards fathers with more and more companies putting flexible practices in place.
The law permits fathers to enjoy two weeks’ leave following the baby’s birth, however there are certain requirements the individual must fulfill before he is eligible to take this:
• He must be in continuous employment for 26 weeks ending with the fifteenth week before the baby is due
• He must be the baby’s biological father or the partner/husband of the mother and have (or expects to have) responsibility for the baby’s upbringing
• He should have the intention to take the time off to support the mother or care for the baby
The amount of paternity leave fathers are legally entitled to is either one or two weeks. However, if two weeks are taken off work they must be taken together; it is not possible to take odd days off here and there. There are also certain activities an employee must complete to qualify for leave:
• The employer should be told in writing when the baby is due at least 15 weeks before the due date
• The employee should communicate their intentions to take leave of either one of two weeks
• When the employee envisages the... continued on page two >