Paternity Leave Policy and Procedure

Policy

The policy of the University of Cambridge is to provide paternity benefits which comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law and, in most cases, are in excess of statutory requirements.

This policy applies to all employees and aims to inform them of their entitlement to contractual and statutory paternity rights, and ensure that these rights are understood.

Ordinary Paternity Leave and Pay

Entitlement and criteria

The following employees, who have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing, are entitled to a maximum of 2 weeks' paid paternity leave under University policy, regardless of their length of service and entitlement to statutory paternity benefits:

  • Biological father of a child.
  • Mother's husband, partner (of either sex) or civil partner who expects to have responsibility for the child's upbringing.
  • Employee of either sex who is adopting a child but is not taking adoption leave.

Statutory Regulations

Employees are encouraged, where possible, to follow the provisions laid down by the Statutory Paternity Pay Regulations implemented under the Employment Act 2002 for ordinary paternity leave. These are as follows:

Employees may choose to take either one or two consecutive weeks' ordinary paternity leave (starting on any day of the week but not taken as odd days) subject to the following provisions:

  • Notification (CHRIS/65) must be given no later than the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or within 7 days of the date the adoption agency tell the person adopting the child they have been matched with the child.
  • Leave can start on any day of the week on or following the child's birth or placement for adoption, but must be completed within 56 days of the actual date of birth/placement of the child. If the child is born early, leave must be taken within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the expected date of birth.
  • One period of leave is available to employees irrespective of whether more than one child is born as the result of the same pregnancy or more than one child is placed for adoption as part of the same arrangement.

Ordinary Paternity pay

Employees who apply for ordinary paternity leave and meet the University criteria (ie that satisfactory arrangements can be made to cover for the absence at no extra cost to the University) will receive up to 2 weeks leave at full pay.

Notification

Employees should give notice, using CHRIS/65 form no later than the 15th week before the baby is expected, or within 7 days of the date the adoption agency tell the person adopting they have been matched with the child. If for any reason they wish to change the start date of the leave period, they should give 28 days' notice of the change, unless this is not reasonably practicable.

Additional Paternity Leave and Pay

Entitlement and criteria

All employees, whose children are born or placed on or after 3 April 2011 and who meet the statutory requirements as outlined below, are entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks additional paternity leave (minimum request is 2 weeks) including a period of additional paternity pay (see provisions set out below).

Statutory Regulations

Under the Statutory Paternity Pay Regulations implemented under the Employment Act 2002, and the Work and Families Act 2006, employees eligible to take additional paternity leave (as for statutory ordinary paternity leave) are those 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 (male or female) or who are the partner of an individual who adopts, or the member of a couple adopting jointly who does not take adoption leave.
  • Have worked continuously for the University for 26 weeks either leading into the 15th week before the baby is due, or being told by the adoption agency that they have been matched with the child.

Employees may take additional paternity leave and pay subject to the following provisions:

  • The child's mother has returned to work after maternity leave before she has taken her full entitlement to 39 weeks' statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance but with at least 2 weeks of unexpired statutory maternity leave entitlement (of the full entitlement of 52 weeks) remaining.
  • The start date of the leave is no earlier than 20 weeks following the birth/placement of the child and ends no later than the child's first birthday/first anniversary of the child's adoption.
  • Only one period of additional paternity leave will be available to employees irrespective of whether more than one child is born as the result of the same pregnancy or more than one child is placed for adoption as part of the same arrangement.

Additional Paternity pay

Employees who apply for additional paternity leave and meet the statutory criteria will receive additional paternity pay at the same rate as the standard rate of statutory maternity pay or 90% of their average earnings if this is less than the standard rate. As the total entitlement to additional paternity leave is 26 weeks, any of this leave which is taken outside the mother's 39-week SMP, Maternity Allowance or Adoption Pay period is unpaid.

Therefore, employees will be able to take paid additional paternity leave after the child's mother has returned to work, during the period from 20 weeks after the birth/placement of the child that is within what would have been (had she not returned to work) the mother's 39 week SMP, Maternity Allowance or Adoption Pay period.

Keeping in Touch Days

An employee may, with the agreement of his/her Head of Department, carry out up to 10 days' work during their additional paternity leave without bringing the additional paternity leave to an end. In accordance with legislation, any work carried out on any day shall constitute a full day's work.

Work means any work done under the contract of employment and may include training, attending meetings and committees or any activity undertaken for the purposes of keeping in touch with the workplace.

It should be noted that this provision does not confer any right on the Institution concerned to require work to be carried out during the additional paternity leave period, nor any right on an employee to request work during this period. There is no obligation on either the department or the employee to make use of these days.

Any days' work carried out will not have the effect of extending the additional paternity leave period.

Payment of KIT days

An employee will receive full pay (at the appropriate rate according to their salary spine point), inclusive of statutory additional paternity payment, for the hours worked during a KIT day. Therefore, any payment made depends on when during additional paternity leave the KIT day is worked, as follows:

During the APP period Paid for the hours worked less any APP for that day.
During nil pay Full pay for the hours worked.

Alternatively, an employee may choose to take ‘time off in lieu’ (TOIL) instead of payment for hours worked. Therefore, an employee who takes a KIT day may choose to receive no additional payment for that day beyond their SMP but instead choose to gain an additional day's annual leave to be taken after their return to work.

Benefits during leave

During additional paternity leave the contract of employment continues in force. All terms and conditions of the contract continue with the exception of stipend or salary. Continuity of service is maintained, and any standard incremental progression taking place during the additional paternity leave will be implemented.

Effect on sabbatical leave

For academic staff with an entitlement to leave under Statute D,II,5, all terms on additional paternity leave are counted as reckonable service for sabbatical leave purposes.

Pension Implications

For members of both the USS and the CPS during any period of paid paternity leave, pension benefits are accrued as if the member is at work. The following paragraphs give general information about the procedures operating in the two pension schemes available to staff in the University. However this does not cover all individual circumstances and any member of staff who has queries on their pension entitlement should contact the Pensions Office for information.

For members of USS, contributions are maintained in full for any period when the member is in receipt of any pay. The member's contributions during this period are based on their actual income and any shortfall is made up by the University. A member of USS on unpaid leave is treated as being on suspended membership of the scheme and does not receive any service credits. On their return she may, if they wish, buy in this service by paying both employer and employee contributions.

For members of CPS, contributions are paid based on the salary actually received. When a member goes on unpaid leave they cease to accrue service for the period of that leave. On their return they may buy in the missing service, and are required to pay only the employee's contributions.

Annual leave accrual

Annual leave entitlement as stated in the relevant contract of employment will continue to accrue as normal for the entire period of paternity leave. All accrued annual leave must be taken within three months of returning to work following additional paternity leave.

Support during Paternity

An employee who is due to go on, or is currently taking paternity leave, is entitled to access all of the usual support networks available to staff. This includes within their Department (e.g. Departmental Administrator), within HR (e.g. HR Business Manager/Adviser) the Occupational Health Service and Counselling Service.

Notification

The member of staff must give 8 weeks' notice, using CHRIS/72 form, of the date that they expect their additional paternity leave to start and the date on which they expect to return. The CHRIS/72 form must also be completed and signed by the child's mother, confirming that she has returned to work. If for any reason they wish to change the start date of the leave period, they should give at least 28 days' notice of the change, unless this is not reasonably practicable.

Confirmation of leave

On receipt of the paternity application form, the Human Resources Division will write to the member of staff confirming that leave has been granted.

Statutory entitlements on return to work

Emergency leave
All employees have a statutory right to short periods of unpaid leave in order to make arrangements to deal with family emergencies. In addition to this statutory provision Heads of Institution have discretion to grant compassionate leave where circumstances justify so doing.
Parental leave
All employees who have a year's service have a statutory right to parental leave.
Flexible working
All employees who have 26 weeks service at the date of application and have children under 17 years of age have a statutory right to apply to work flexibly to care for the child.

Other family-related leave

Reference Documents