Changes to maternity and paternity rights


From 6 April 2010 new regulations give parents of children due, or matched for adoption, on or after 3 April 2011 greater flexibility in how they use maternity and paternity provisions through the introduction of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay.

Additional Paternity Leave and Pay (APL&P) will enable eligible fathers to take up to 26 weeks additional paternity leave. The leave may be paid if taken during the mother or partner’s Statutory Maternity Pay period, Maternity Allowance period or Statutory Adoption Pay period. Leave taken after this period has ended would be unpaid.

This new provision will provide parents with more choice and flexibility in child care responsibilities and a more equitable sharing of leave entitlements.

The scheme has been designed to minimise the administrative burdens on business whilst allowing fathers a greater opportunity to be involved in raising their child. Mothers will have the choice between taking their full maternity leave and returning to work early, allowing their partner to take leave instead.