New regulations, which came into force on 6 April 2010, will provide fathers with the option to take additional paternity leave.
The Work and Families Act 2006 made provisions for additional paternity rights which have now been introduced by new regulations.
The new rights will apply to fathers of babies born after 3 April 2011. They will be entitled to take up to 26 weeks off work where the mother decides to return to work early. There is also provision within the Regulations for part of this leave to be paid where it is taken during the mother’s paid leave period.
The Regulations also apply to parents of adopted children notified of a match after 3 April 2011.
In light of the above changes businesses should review their policies relating to parental leave ahead of April 2011 to make sure that they are compatible with the new Regulations.