Delay until at least 2010 for:

  • the extension of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Maternity Allowance (MA) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) to 52 weeks; and
  • the introduction of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay (APL and APP).


The above changes were due to come into effect in 2009. However, the Government has decided to delay the changes so that they will be in place, at the earliest, for babies due on or after April 2010.

This will, as the Government explains, "give employers some clarity and further time to make their preparations".


The Government has a goal to extend SMP, MA and SAP from 39 weeks to 52 weeks and to introduce APL and APP by the end of this Parliament.

APL and APP would give employed fathers a right to take up to an additional 26 weeks off work with pay to care for their child in its first year, if:

  • the mother has returned to work; and
  • has not used her full entitlement to paid maternity leave. 

The Government did intend to introduce the changes for babies due on or after April 2009. However, it has now started planning implementation for babies due on or after April 2010. No decisions have yet been taken as to the exact date for implementation, but the changes are generally expected to become law in April 2010.