Ordinary Paternity Leave and Additional Paternity Leave and Pay policy

  1. Introduction
  2. Ordinary paternity leave
  3. Additional paternity leave
  4. Budgetary arrangements
  5. Useful links

Forms: Ordinary Paternity Leave form (Word, 71Kb), Additional Paternity Leave form-Adoptions (Word, 95Kb), Additional Paternity Leave form-Births (Word, 93Kb) and Keeping in touch day form (Word, 48Kb)

Further Info: University of Bristol Work and Family pages

(1) Introduction

The University is committed to supporting all employees who have or adopt a child. This policy is designed to ensure that all members of staff are treated fairly and consistently and in line with the relevant legislation. Following the birth or adoption, eligible employees can take up to two weeks’ paid leave to care for the child and/or to support the mother/adopter in the form of Ordinary Paternity Leave.

Additional Paternity Leave subsequently allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks’ leave where the mother/adopter has returned to work. Eligible employees can also receive the balance of the mother’s statutory maternity pay or joint adopter's statutory adoption pay if it has not already been exhausted. This enables parents greater flexibility in how they use maternity/adoption and paternity provisions to care for their new child. Additional Paternity Leave and Pay are only available to qualifying employees of children due or matched for adoption on or after 3rd April 2011.   

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(2) Ordinary paternity leave

a) Eligibility

In order to qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave employees must:

 *  Adoption leave and pay are available to only one member of a couple. The other adoptive parent or partner of the adopter may take paternity leave.

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b) Entitlements

Employees who meet the above eligibility criteria can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' Ordinary Paternity Leave.  Ordinary Paternity Leave must be taken in a single block and cannot be taken as odd days or as two separate weeks. 

During Ordinary Paternity Leave, eligible employees will be paid by the University at their normal rate of pay.  (This will include an element of Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP) where appropriate, which is effectively enhanced by the University to equal full pay).

Employees can take only one period of leave per pregnancy even if more than one baby is born as the result of the same pregnancy.

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c) When can ordinary paternity leave be taken?

Employees can choose to start their Ordinary Paternity Leave on any day of the week either:

Ordinary Paternity Leave must be completed:

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d) Notification process

Employees should discuss their intention to take Ordinary Paternity Leave with their line manager / Head of School or Department as early as possible so that early consideration can be given to covering their work during their absence. 

To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave, employees must formally tell the University that they wish to take Ordinary Paternity Leave by completing an Ordinary Paternity Leave form and submitting this to the Head of School/Department:

 Employees can change the date they want their Ordinary Paternity Leave to start providing they give their Head of School/Department at least 28 days’ notice (unless this is not reasonably practicable). 

The Head of School/Department should complete the authorisation section of the relevant Ordinary Paternity Leave form, confirm authorisation to the employee and forward the form to the faculty / divisional personnel team. 

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(3) Additional paternity leave and pay

a) Eligibility and entitlements - births

Employees can start their Additional Paternity Leave any time from 20 weeks after the child is born. A minimum of two weeks and a maximum of 26 continuous weeks' leave can be taken and the leave must have finished by the child's first birthday.

For an employee to qualify for additional paternity leave they must:

If the contract of employment ends before leave would be due to start an employee does not qualify for leave or pay.

If a baby is due on or after 3 April 2011 but is born earlier, an employee is still entitled to Additional Paternity Leave.

The baby's mother must also:

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b) Eligibility and entitlements - adoptions

Employees can take their Additional Paternity Leave any time between 20 and 52 weeks after:

A minimum of two weeks and a maximum of 26 continuous weeks' leave can be taken.

An employee qualifies for additional paternity leave when adopting a child if:

The child’s co-adopter must also:

For overseas adoptions, the employee must also:

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c) Additional paternity pay entitlements

Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) is payable to employees who meet the eligibility criteria for additional paternity leave and:

ASPP is only payable during the mother or co-adopter’s statutory maternity pay, statutory adoption pay or maternity allowance period (if it has not already been exhausted) from 20 weeks after the child is born.

To qualify for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) the employee must have:

The qualifying week is either:

Employees are not eligible to work whilst receiving Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (with the exception of the 10 optional keeping in touch days).

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d) Notification process

In order to qualify for Additional Paternity Leave and pay the employee must:

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e) During additional paternity leave

Salary progression

On the employees return to work, their salary will be reviewed to take into account any increment or general increase which would have applied had they not been on additional paternity leave.

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Continuity of service

The contract of employment continues throughout Additional Paternity Leave. Continuity of service will not have been broken by an unpaid period of absence under the paternity provision, therefore entitlement to periods of notice, holidays and sick leave which accrued at the beginning of Additional Paternity Leave will not be lost.

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Annual leave

Employees will continue to accrue annual leave during paid and unpaid additional paternity leave. They will also accrue any University Closure Days that occur during Additional Paternity Leave. This does not include Bank Holidays, which do not accrue. It is not possible to take annual leave whilst on Additional Paternity Leave. This means that any annual leave and University Closure Days accrued during this period must be taken at any alternative date as detailed below.

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Pension arrangements

Staff on Additional Paternity Leave will continue to be members of the relevant pension scheme.

If the employee is in the pension salary exchange scheme:

It is not possible to salary exchange from statutory pay. Therefore, when in receipt of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP), ASPP cannot be reduced under Salary Exchange. However, the University will pay the additional pension contributions while in receipt of ASPP as if the individual were on full pay for the period.

Where staff are entitled to ASPP, members should opt out of Pension Salary Exchange under the 'notification of a lifestyle event' to prevent any reduction in ASPP. If the member decides to opt-out, they should contact Pensions and Payroll to request an opt-out form.

During periods of unpaid leave (i.e. no ASPP) it is not possible to participate in the Pension Salary Exchange scheme since the employee will not be in receipt of any earnings, therefore the employee will need to complete an opt-out form. If the employee wishes to maintain their employee pension contributions in relation to this period, they may do so outside of the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme, in which case the University will then pay the employer contributions. The University will only pay contributions if the employee does the same, and these contributions will be outside of the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme.

On the employees return from unpaid Additional Paternity Leave, the employee may rejoin the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme where appropriate by completing an opt-in form. The Pensions Office will contact the employee directly regarding this at the appropriate time.

If the employee is not in the pension salary exchange scheme:

During periods of ASPP, employee contributions will be deducted according to the total amount of pay received. The University will make up the employee’s contributions and pay employers’ contributions as if the individual were on full pay for the period. It should be noted that during periods of unpaid leave (ie no ASPP) the University will only pay contributions if the employee does the same.

There is a certain amount of flexibility regarding pension payment arrangements. Advice should be sought from the Pensions Office.

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It is recommended that employees and line managers make arrangements to maintain reasonable contact during Additional Paternity Leave in order to keep the employee informed of important developments at work, discuss plans for their return to work, etc. Managers should draw particular attention to any changes in structures within the department and ensure the individual is aware of any possible promotion opportunities. Individuals should also ensure that they keep themselves informed as appropriate (e.g. by regularly reviewing the University’s Current Vacancies Bulletin).

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Keeping in touch days

Employees may, by agreement with their Head of School/Department, undertake up to 10 days paid work, referred to as 'keeping in touch days', during their Additional Paternity Leave. Such days may be undertaken at any stage during this period. The type of work undertaken is a matter for agreement between the employee and their Head of School/Department. The days may be used for any activity which would ordinarily be classed as work under the employee’s contract, and could be particularly useful in enabling an employee to attend a conference, undertake a training activity or attend a team meeting. Keeping in touch days are optional and can only take place by agreement between both parties.

Keeping in touch days do not extend the Additional Statutory Paternity Pay period in any way. For instance, if a keeping in touch day occurs during a period of ASPP this will be effectively “topped up” so that the individual receives full pay for the day in question. Payment for keeping in touch days will only be made after completion of the day’s work.

All employees may undertake up to 10 days work, with the agreement of their Head of School/Department, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time. Where an employee works for less than a full day, this will still count as one keeping in touch day for the purposes of the 10 days maximum, although payment will only be made for actual hours worked.

Employees wishing to undertake a keeping in touch day should complete a keeping in touch day form and forward this to their line manager in the first instance.

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Returning to work

Employees may exercise the right to return to work at any time during the period of Additional Paternity Leave. They will have the right to return to the job or comparable job to that which they were employed with the same terms and conditions as if they had not been absent. If they return prior to the end of the Additional Paternity Leave period they should give at least 6 weeks’ notice, in writing, of their intended date of return.

While returning to work on the basis of an alternative working pattern or hours of work is not a right, the University will give appropriate consideration to such requests, on either a temporary or permanent basis, from employees returning to work following Additional Paternity Leave. They should submit a request in writing via a flexible working application form as early as possible. Any change must be discussed and agreed with the line manager. The possibility of flexible working arrangements, which may include arrangements for establishing a job share, may be discussed with the line manager in conjunction with the faculty / divisional personnel team. Should the job content and responsibilities of a revised role differ significantly to those of a previous role, the grading of the post may be reviewed.

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(4) Budgetary arrangements

The school/department will continue to pay the salary of the individual on Ordinary or Additional Paternity Leave in the normal way. There is provision for the University to reclaim 92% of Ordinary and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay from the government. This will be reimbursed to the budget specified by the Head of School/Department on the relevant paternity leave form.

(5)  Useful links

Paternity information and FAQs: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/equalityanddiversity/workandfamily/dads/paternityfaq_html

Guidance for Working Fathers: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/equalityanddiversity/workandfamily/dads/workingfathers.html

Dads at work pages: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/equalityanddiversity/workandfamily/dads/

Managing Maternity and Paternity Handbook:  http://www.bristol.ac.uk/equalityanddiversity/workandfamily/managers/managers.html

University Nursery:  http://www.bristol.ac.uk/nursery/


[1] Ordinary and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP or ASPP) is a flat payment, reviewed by the Government each year. This is currently set at £138.18 or 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.  To be eligible for OSPP or ASPP, employees must have average weekly earnings at or above the government’s Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance Contributions 15 weeks before the baby is due.  92% of OSPP or ASPP can be reclaimed from the Government (which will be reimbursed to the school / department’s budget)