We are sharing this update from ACCA, our professional body, for the interest of clients and contacts. The content is (c) ACCA

Employers can now check the details of proposed changes to employees’ rights to paternity leave following publication of new draft regulations

The draft regulations make significant changes to paternity leave. One change is that, where the expected week of birth is on or after 6 April 2024, employees can take their paternity leave entitlement of two weeks as two separate one-week blocks – at present they must take either one week’s leave only or two consecutive weeks’ leave.

Also, the period during which they can take leave is extended. Employees can choose to take the leave at any time during the 52 weeks after the birth rather than only within the 56-day period after the birth. They will also be able to give just 28 days’ notice before each period of paternity leave, rather than give general notice of their intention to take paternity leave at least 15 weeks before the expected week of birth.

The intention is that these changes will be brought into force at the same time as the introduction of a new right to carer’s leave, changes to rights to request flexible working, and the extension of redundancy protection to cover pregnancy.

Intended to come into force from 8 March 2024, employers are recommended to:

  • check for imminent periods of paternity leave where the new entitlement will apply and discuss with relevant employees what they want to do
  • review policies and procedures accordingly
  • train relevant managers and communicate the changes to employees.