The Work and Families Act 2006 contains powers to introduce new rights to additional paternity leave (APL) and additional statutory paternity pay (ASPP). Regulations have now been laid before Parliament bringing these measures into force from 6 April 2010.

The new provisions give eligible employees (usually fathers) a right of up to 26 weeks’ leave to care for a child, if the child’s mother or (in the case of adoptions) the primary adopter returns to work without exercising their full entitlement to maternity leave. Some of the leave may be paid if it is taken during the mother’s maternity pay period or, for adopted children, during the primary adopter’s adoption pay period. The entitlement to ASP and ASPP will apply to parents of children due on or after 3 April 2011, or to adoptive parents notified of having been matched on or after that date.

Comment: trustees and employers will need to ensure that employees on paid paternity leave after the relevant date are treated as though they were receiving their normal remuneration for pension purposes.