About the scheme

The scheme provides financial support for eligible parents. This helps them take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child.

Employees can access Parental Leave Pay which complements other employer provided birth or adoption leave entitlements.

The scheme:

  • recognises taking time off to care for a child is part of the usual course of life for parents
  • promotes equality between men and women and balance between work and family life.

The scheme also helps you:

  • retain valuable and skilled staff by encouraging them to stay connected with their workplace when they become parents
  • enhance a family friendly workplace without you having to fund Parental Leave Pay
  • increase long term workforce participation for new parents.

There are 2 payments available to families under the scheme:

  • Parental Leave Pay
  • Dad and Partner Pay.

Both payments are taxable and paid at the rate of the National Minimum Wage.

Parental Leave Pay

Parental Leave Pay is for the child’s primary carer. If you need to provide Parental Leave Pay we give you the funds to pass on to your employees. You should provide the funds in the same way you pay their salary or wages.

Parents can get up to 18 weeks’ pay. To be eligible, parents must not be working from the time they become their child’s primary carer. They must also not work until the end of their Paid Parental Leave period.

Employees can take Parental Leave Pay before, after or at the same time as they’re getting paid or unpaid leave. Employees must take Parental Leave Pay in one continuous block and after the child has entered their care.

Read more about who can get Parental Leave Pay.

Dad and Partner Pay

Dad and Partner Pay is for working dads or partners, including adopting parents. They can get up to 2 weeks’ pay. To be eligible they must be on unpaid leave and not working during this time. Dads or partners may ask you for unpaid leave so they can get this payment.

You won’t need to provide Dad and Partner Pay. As it’s only a 2 week payment, we pay it straight to your employee.

You can choose to pay your employee a top-up payment to supplement their Dad and Partner Pay. For example, the difference between their Dad and Partner Pay and their normal wage. We don’t consider top-up payments as paid leave for the purposes of Dad and Partner Pay eligibility.

Read more about who can get Dad and Partner Pay.

The Paid Parental Leave period

Your employee will tell us when they want their Paid Parental Leave period to start.

It can start from the day of birth or adoption, or on a later date.

To get the 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, it must start within 34 weeks of the birth or adoption. To get the 2 weeks of Dad and Partner Pay, it must start within 50 weeks of this date.

Page last updated: 16 September 2019