Changes to Paternity Leave in April 2024: What do you need to know?

Mon 29th Jan 2024

As of 6th April 2024, paternity leave will be changing to reflect a shifting attitude towards work-life balance and gender equality.

The UK government has recently published draft legislation regarding the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024. Due to come into effect from the 6th April 2024, there will be a handful of changes regarding paternity rights.

These changes were first announced back in June 2023, when the Government published its response to a consultation on parental leave and pay. They reflect a changing attitude towards work-life balance and gender equality as both maternity leave and paternity leave continue to evolve.

What are these changes and what will employees and employers need to know?

What are the changes?

The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 list four changes as follows:

  • Instead of taking the entire two-week entitlement in consecutive weeks, employees can now separate their leave into separate one-week blocks.
  • Employees can take their paternity leave any time in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of their child.
  • Rather than the current 15-week notice period before the expected week of childbirth or adoption, employees only need to give 28 days’ notice (4 weeks).
  • Any dates specified for leave to be taken can be changed as long as an employer is given at least 28 days’ notice. This is instead of just a change in the start date to reflect the other changes.

What do employees need to know?

If you are looking to take paternity leave in the near future, which dates do you need to keep in mind? These changes will concern any eligible fathers or partners of babies whose expected week of birth or adoption date is after the 6th April 2024.

These amendments hope to give new dads more rights and flexibility in comparison to the previous paternity leave guidelines. If you have existing paternity leave planned for dates after the 6th April, you should speak to your employer or HR department.

What do employers need to do?

While these changes will only affect parents who have a childbirth or adoption as of the 6th April, these regulations come into force from the 8th March. That means employers do not have much time to get up to speed with these changes.

The changes to the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will come into place at the same time as various other family-related legislation changes—so employers need to be prepared. These will revolve around flexible working rights, carer’s leave, and redundancy protection extension.

Paternity leave

The landscape of parental leave rights is evolving. These changes mark a significant step forward in shared responsibilities in the workforce and at home.

At Coodes, our Commercial Disputes and Employment team are well versed in employment law and will always ensure they are ahead of the curve with upcoming or changing legislation. They’re committed to providing guidance to both employers and employees to navigate the complexities of changing paternal leave policies amongst others.

Together, let’s build workplaces across Devon and Cornwall that not only foster career growth but also embrace the value of equality and work-life balance for every member of our diverse and dynamic workforce.

If you require help with paternity leave, maternity leave, or other workplace-related policies, get in touch with Associate Steph Marsh from our Employment team via email or by calling 01579 324017.

Mon 29th Jan 2024

Steph Marsh

Head of Employment

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