The Government has confirmed that it intends to bring in legislation to allow the transfer of up to 6 months maternity leave from mothers to fathers. This would occur where the mother has unused maternity leave and the child is between 6 to 12 months old. If the mother has not exhausted her 39 weeks’ Statutory Maternity Pay then the father would be entitled to receive the remainder of that Statutory Maternity Pay during the period of maternity leave transferred, provided this leave is taken during the 39 week period of the mother’s maternity pay period.

To allow employers time to adjust, it is intended that it will be operative for parents of babies born on or after 3 April 2011. It is intended that parents will self certify by supplying employers with the necessary information.