Changes to Statutory Paternity Leave from April 2024

Category: EQ AccountingPayroll - Posted On: Nov 21 2023

Legislation changes to Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) and Pay (SPP) will take effect from 6 April 2024 allowing employed fathers more flexibility to decide how and when they take their leave.

Following consultation in 2019, a new policy led by The Department for Business and Trade which covers Great Britain but not Northern Ireland, will come into effect with the following changes:

  • Allow fathers or partners to split their leave into 2 blocks of 1 week. Previously, only 1 block of 1 or 2 consecutive weeks could be taken.
  • Allow fathers or partners to take their leave and pay at any point in the first year after the birth or adoption of their child instead of only within the first 8 weeks.
  • Adjust the way fathers or partners give notice of leave and pay to their employer. The new measure will require an employee to give notice that they intend to take leave 15 weeks prior to the expected week of childbirth (EWC), and then 4 weeks’ notice of dates prior to each period of leave.

The statutory paternity rate of pay and eligibility criteria will remain unchanged.

Employers who have well-established and long-standing policies and procedures will need to  change these to account for:

  • Leave (and Pay) allowed in non-consecutive blocks of one week
  • Leave (and Pay) to be taken within 52 weeks of the birth / placement of a child
  • The ‘Notification of entitlement’ 15 weeks before the birth / placement AND
  • The leave request 28 days before the leave dates

HMRC are estimating that updated guidance will be available in line with the changes to legislation by 8 March 2024.

Payroll software, Basic PAYE Tools and the online PPL calculator on GOV.UK will be updated so that an employer can calculate the pay for SPL taken in non-consecutive weeks.

If you would like to outsource your payroll function to our knowledgeable experts, allowing you to focus on the day-to-day running of your business, please contact our EQ Accounting team on or call 01382 312140.