Introduction to this document

Paternity leave request form

Paternity leave entitles eligible employees to take either one or two weeks’ paid time off work following the birth of their child (or following the placement of a child for adoption) to care for that child or to support the mother. Even though it’s called paternity leave, it is available to same-sex partners.


Eligible employees are able to take up to two weeks’ paid paternity leave to care for their child or support the mother. To be eligible, an employee must have responsibility for the child’s upbringing, be the biological father of the child or the mother’s husband, civil partner or partner (or married to or the civil partner or partner of the child’s adopter or one of a couple jointly adopting a child) and have worked continuously for you for 26 weeks as at the 15th week before the baby is due (or, in respect of an adopted child, calculated as at the week in which the child’s adopter was notified of having been matched with the child).

Paternity entitlement

Employees are entitled to take either one week or two consecutive weeks’ paternity leave. It cannot be taken as odd days. Leave can start either from the date the child is born (or adopted) or from a chosen number of days or weeks after the date of childbirth (or date of adoption). It must be completed either within 56 days of the date of childbirth (or adoption) or, if the child is born early, within the period from the date of childbirth up to 56 days after the expected date of childbirth. During paternity leave, most employees will be entitled to statutory paternity pay (SPP).

Notice requirements

Employees are required to inform you of their intention to take paternity leave by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (or, in the case of an adopted child, no later than seven days after the date on which notification of the match with the child was given by the adoption agency), unless this isn’t reasonably practicable, in which case notice must be given as soon as is reasonably practicable. They need to tell you when the baby is due (or the date the child is expected to be adopted), whether they wish to take one or two weeks’ leave and when they want their leave to start. In the case of an adopted child, the notice should also specify the date on which the adopter was notified of having been matched with the child. Employees are able to change their mind about the date on which they want their paternity leave to start providing that they tell you at least 28 days in advance. Employees have to give you a completed self-certificate as evidence of their entitlement to paternity leave and SPP. The Paternity Leave Request Form is the document for your employees to use to provide all the relevant information.