Search Arc Legal Group



In recent years, there’s been a notable shift in societal norms regarding parenting roles, with an increasing recognition of fathers’ importance in childcare. Reflecting this shift, The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 (the Regulations), which comes into force on 8th March 2024, introduces significant changes aimed at supporting fathers in balancing work and family responsibilities.

One of the key updates in these regulations is the extension of paternity leave duration; fathers are now entitled to a longer period of leave to spend time with their newborns and support their partners during the critical early stages of parenthood.

Designed to support families and promote equality in the workplace, these regulations bring with them a wave of opportunities and considerations for both employers and employees.

Rewind to June 2023, the Government published its response to a 2019 consultation on reforming parental leave and pay entitlements and announced plans to make it easier for fathers and partners to take paternity leave. The draft Regulations were then laid before Parliament on 11th January 2024.

The new Regulations will be in place for parents of children whose expected week of childbirth starts after 6th April 2024, or whose expected adoption placement date is on or after that same date.

Current rights

Paternity leave must be taken as a single block of either one whole week, or two consecutive whole weeks. If only one week is taken, there’s no ability to take the second week later.

Additionally, paternity leave must be taken within 56 days of a child’s birth or placement for adoption.

Currently, an employee who intends to take paternity leave is required to provide written notice to their employer regarding their entitlement to paternity leave and the specific period during which they plan to take their leave.

For natural births, this notice must be given to the employer no later than the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. For adoption cases, this notice must be provided to the employer within seven days of the employee receiving notification that they have been matched with a child for adoption.

What’s going to change?

Eligible employees will be able to take their statutory paternity leave as either: a single block of either one whole week or two consecutive whole weeks; or as two separate blocks of one whole week.

Furthermore, eligible employees will now be able to take their statutory paternity leave within 52 weeks of the birth or placement for adoption. Employees will have greater flexibility about taking paternity leave when combined with the ability to take two separate blocks of leave.

When an employee wishes to take paternity leave, they must give their employer written notice of:

  • The date on which they were notified that they had been matched with a child for adoption (if applicable)
  • The expected week of childbirth or adoption placement date
  • Written declaration that they meet the eligibility requirements of the regime

Before each period of leave, the employee must give their employer notice of the start and end dates of the period of leave. On top of this, employees will also be required to declare that they are taking the leave to care for the child or support their partner.

It’s important for employers to familiarise themselves with the details of the new Regulations before they come into place and ensure their HR policies and procedures around paternity leave are up to date. Employees themselves also need to familiarise themselves with the new Regulations, understand how much leave they’re entitled to, how they can schedule it, and any other relevant provisions that apply to their unique situation.

For further information on employment matters, especially on parental leave, Arc Legal’s experienced Legal Team have created an Employment Guide which can be used as a reference tool.

Michael Jenkins, Head of Legal Advice, Arc Legal Group

To find out more about our products and services, please contact your Relationships Manager or email

In case you missed it..

Speak to an expert

We’re waiting to hear from you. Call, email or use our live chat service to find out how we can help you deliver market leading, tailored products and services to your customers.

0344 770 9000 Live chat