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Paternity Leave

Employees who:

  • have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing
  • are the biological father of the child or the mother's husband or partner and
  • have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due or the end of the week in which the child's adopter is notified of being matched with the child can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paid paternity leave (not odd days).

Paternity leave must be completed:

  • within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child, or
  • if the child is born early, within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the week in which the birth was expected.

Employees have the right to return to the same job after paternity leave. Most employees are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) from their employers

Employees - Paternity rights in the workplace

Employers- Paternity leave and pay 

Telephone Enquiry Point

The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.

028 9032 1442

Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact Us

Please note that we cannot deal with employment-related enquiries by e-mail. To receive information or advice about an employment-related issue, please telephone our Helpline on Belfast 90 321442 where an officer will speak with you directly about your query. Please note that the Agency can arrange the services of an interpreter if required.

If you have an employment relations issue in Great Britain please contact the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 .

For all non-employment related queries or questions please fill in the box below.