If you think you’ve suffered paternity discrimination at work, contact Slater and Gordon Lawyers for expert legal advice or immediate representation. We’ve assisted many new fathers and partners in paternity discrimination at work cases and are on hand to give you the information and support you need. Simply call us on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online.

Your rights

The arrival of a new baby is a time of change for the whole family. All family members need and appreciate time to get to know the new baby, and it's a time when everyone, especially the mother, needs extra support and care.

Unfortunately, many employers aren’t aware of the legal rights that their workers have in relation to paternity leave. In too many cases, employers are less willing to accept requests for leave or flexible working when they’re made by fathers or partners than they are when mothers make these requests.

Paternity leave

If you want to protect yourself at work, it’s important that you understand your paternity rights. In England, Scotland and Wales, new fathers (whether they’re natural or adoptive) and the partners of new mothers have a legal entitlement to one or two weeks of paternity leave when their partner has a baby or when they adopt a child. You must take this in a block of one or two weeks rather than trying to spread it out over a longer period.

You can take this leave starting on the day the child is born, the day he or she is placed with you for adoption or a date after the birth or adoption that you’ve agreed on with your employer in advance. It’s important to be aware that your leave must be completed within 56 days of the birth or adoption.

In order to qualify for leave, you must be the biological father of the child or be the partner of the baby’s mother. You must also be responsible for the child’s upbringing and have given your employer the correct notice period. If you’re adopting, you can only take leave if you don’t already know the child. For example, you’re not entitled to it if you’re adopting a stepchild.

Paternity pay

If you’re entitled to take paternity leave, it’s likely that you’ll also be entitled to receive statutory paternity pay for the days you take off. This is calculated at the same rate as statutory maternity pay.

Giving notice

You’ve to provide your employer with sufficient notice that you intend to take paternity leave. The cut-off for giving notice is 15 weeks before the due date or within a week of being matched with a child for adoption.

Shared parental leave

If your partner is expecting a baby or you’re preparing to adopt a child, you can share maternity leave with your partner. This is called shared parental leave. In total, you can share up to 50 weeks’ leave and 37 weeks’ pay. This isn’t a well-publicised legal right, but it’s an important one.

Your rights while on paternity leave

Your employment rights are protected when you take leave, including your right to accrue holiday pay, receive pay rises and return to work.

Requesting flexible working hours

You’ve the right to ask your employer to give you flexible working hours when you come back from paternity leave. However, it’s important to be aware that your employer may not be required to grant you your request.

Specialist paternity discrimination solicitors

If you’re experiencing paternity discrimination at work, our expert employment law solicitors are here to help you to resolve the problems. We can assist you through careful and sensitive negotiation with your employer, or we can take the approach of more formal litigation if this is necessary.

Our approach is primarily a diplomatic one as many paternity issues can be resolved through our solicitors on an informal basis, without the need for litigation. This can save you time, money and stress and help to prevent disagreements from escalating. However, should the need arise, our team has the experience and knowledge of more robust forms of dispute resolution to ensure the best outcome possible.

Our team of paternity discrimination solicitors can help you to deal with paternity issues at work in the most effective ways. To see how we can assist you, contact us by calling on freephone 0808 175 8000 or completing our online contact form to arrange a confidential review of your case by a solicitor.

Family leave expert guide

Our solicitors have prepared free online expert guides to help you. Please read our Family Leave and Shared Parental Leave resources to discover more.

Why you should choose Slater and Gordon

Proving paternity discrimination can be a challenge, which is why you need expert legal help to make your case. At Slater and Gordon, we’re highly experienced in this area of employment law and are perfectly placed to guide you through the process. We’re independently recognised as the number one firm for providing legal guidance to clients in workplace discrimination claims.

Our large team of solicitors are known for providing a consistent and responsive service in a cost-effective manner. When you come to us for help, you can rest assured you’ll benefit from a confidential, tailored approach that helps you to achieve your precise aims. We also focus on providing straightforward advice that’s easy to understand.

For more information on how we can help you to make a paternity discrimination claim, don’t hesitate to contact our experts. Wherever you’re based in the UK, you can reach us on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online and we’ll call you.