1. Policy statement

1.1 Paternity leave is an entitlement to time off that may be taken by the biological father or mother's partner during the first year of a child's life.

1.2 Paternity leave is intended to support parents in the early stages of a child's life.

1.3 Reflecting terminology used in national legislation, the University uses the term 'paternity leave' to recognise that any employee who is the biological father or the partner (including same sex partner or civil partner) of an expectant or new mother who shares responsibility for the child's upbringing is entitled to apply for leave under this policy.

2. Application and scope

The following principles will apply to the application of this procedure:

2.1 Paternity leave falls into two categories

  • Ordinary paternity leave (OPL) - a period of one or two weeks leave to be taken within eight weeks of the child's birth
  • Shared parental leave - the mother's partner may take untaken portions of her maternity leave

2.2 Paternity leave will be granted to a University of York employee who meets the eligibility criteria. The criteria may be amended from time to time to reflect legislative changes.

3. Conditions

3.1 To qualify for one week's OPL an employee must:

  • be the biological father of the child or the mother's partner; and
  • have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing; and
  • be making the request to care for the child

3.2 A second week's OPL is available to employees who meet the criteria in 1.1 and have 26 weeks continuous service by the end of the fifteenth week before the baby is due. The leave cannot be taken as separate days or as two separate weeks.

3.3 An employee can choose to start OPL at any time from when the baby is born but must complete it within:

  • 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child
  • the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the expected week of birth, in cases where the child is born early

3.4 Only one period of OPL is available to an employee regardless of whether more than one child is born as a result of the same pregnancy.

4. Pay

4.1 For the first week of OPL, employees are entitled to Occupational Paternity Pay (pro-rata for part-time staff). This will be paid at an employee's normal rate of pay and includes any entitlement to Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP).

4.2 If an employee is entitled to a second week of OPL, this is paid at the OSPP rate (£156.66 a week with effect from April 2022) or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

4.3 Payment for one or two weeks OPL will be made through payroll on receipt of appropriate notification at or around the time of birth of the baby. Refer to part 5 for further information.

4.4 Any queries relating to Statutory Paternity Pay should be directed to the Payroll and Pensions Office on extension 2114.

5. Applying for paternity leave

5.1 OPL will be granted subject to an employee meeting certain conditions and may be amended to reflect legislative changes

5.2 An employee wishing to request OPL must complete:

These need to be sent to HR Services, with a copy to their manager. This must be completed by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due, or as soon as is reasonably practicable. For those adopting you must give notice no later than 7 days after being matched with a child.

5.3 On receipt of form SC3 / SC4, HR Services will write to an employee confirming arrangements for OPL.

5.4 If an employee wishes to change the start date for OPL he/she will need to notify his/her manager and HR Services 28 days prior to the new start date, or as soon as is reasonably practicable.

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  • Last reviewed: 29 February 2016