Mother and Baby

How Your Partner Should Ask For Paternity Leave

You’ve been dreaming of your maternity leave for months, but what about your partner’s paternity leave? Forward him this how-to-organise-it breakdown

Having time away from work after your baby’s born is a great bonding opp for your partner.

By law, he’s entitled to either one or two weeks of ‘Ordinary paternity leave’ at statutory pay of £136.78 a week or 90% of his average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). And there’s also now the option for him to potentially take up to 26 weeks’ additional time – but only if you go back to work.

Still, with a demanding job in a hectic workplace, it isn’t always easy to ask for the leave he’s due. So, show him this breakdown.

Paternity leave: A guide for the dad-to-be

Have a conversation

First off, work out with your partner how long you’d like to take off, especially if it differs from the statutory amount of one or two weeks.

‘Setting this out in both your minds gives you a starting point so you can approach your employer in good time,’ says Lisa LaRue, career coach at advice service CareerWorx.

Wise up on T&Cs

Make sure you understand what you’re entitled to and the regulations around it – you can find this at Leave can’t start before birth, for example, and a week is defined as how many days you work – so if you do Mondays and Tuesdays, a week is two days.

‘It’s also good to find out what the company policy is,’ says Lisa. ‘Some places offer extras on top of the statutory set up, such as additional pay.’

Get dad-spiration

Think about how colleagues handled their paternity leave.

‘Looking at past precedent can help you think about what worked well in the company – and what didn’t – so you can tailor your approach and decide with your employer what will make things run smoothly,’ says Lisa.

Be open with your employer

Arrange a chat with your manager and be honest about what you’d like to happen – legally, at least 15 weeks before the week your baby is due. You can then formalise the arrangement with HR.

‘Write a letter for your manager, including things like your baby’s due date and when you want your leave to start in relation to that,’ says Lisa. Check out this template at

Put a plan in place

While you’re entitled to leave, it’s still smart to think about how it can work well for everyone. ‘Help organise things around your baby’s due date with a bit of leeway in case he or she arrives early or late,’ says Lisa.

Offering solutions to issues will make everything much easier to navigate – and your colleagues much happier.

Is your partner currently organising his paternity leave? Let us know on the comments board below.

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