Please see below which supersedes the relevant paragraphs of the family leave policy. The full policy will be issued for consultation in due course.

Paternity Leave

In addition to maternity and adoption support leave described above, if you are a father or partner (of any gender) of an expectant mother or person taking adoption or surrogacy leave and have 41 weeks continuous service during the EWC or date of placement, you are entitled to a further weeks Statutory Paternity Leave.

Paternity leave must be taken as blocks of 1 week.

For EWC/expected date of placement prior to 6 April 2024, if you choose to take Maternity Support Leave then your paternity leave must follow creating a 2 week block of leave and this must be taken within 56 days of the actual birth or placement even in the birth is early.

Where the EWC/expected date of placement is after 6 April 2024 your Maternity Support Leave and Paternity Leave do not need to run consecutively. The Maternity Support Leave conditions as noted above still apply however the Paternity Support Leave can be taken as a separate block of one week's duration and must be taken within 52 weeks of the actual birth or placement.

Regardless of whether more than one child is placed for adoption or in the case of multiple births there is only 2 weeks leave (maternity support leave/paternity leave) available.

You are entitled to this in circumstances where the child is stillborn after 24 weeks or has died immediately after birth or where the child’s mother has died within the period of leave.

Teachers only

Where paternity leave is before and during a period of annual leave or school closure period, the paternity leave comes first and the whole period of annual leave and any unpaid leave follows. If the birth is earlier than the EWC, leave must be taken within the period from the actual date of birth up to 52 weeks after the expected week of birth. For example, if a birth occurs during the October week, the employee would be entitled to take their paternity leave during the school week and then take the leave days they have missed immediately after this.

Payment during paternity leave

You will be paid statutory paternity pay (SPP) or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than SPP.

If your average earnings are below the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions you will not qualify for SPP. In this situation you may obtain information on additional financial support from the Jobcentre or Benefits Agency.

Notification requirements

You must tell your manager and HR about your intention to take paternity leave 4 weeks before each period of leave. In the case of adoption, you must tell us about your intention to take paternity leave within 7 days of you being notified by your adoption agency that you have been matched with a child, unless this is not practical.

You must use the application form and provide a copy of the Mat B1 or adoption placement paperwork.

You can change the date on which your leave starts by giving 4 weeks notice in writing where this is practical.

You will be entitled to return to the same job after paternity leave.

Carer’s and dependants’ leave

We rely on people with personal caring responsibilities for both adults and children to provide our services and accept that there may be the need for these employees to take a break from work or alter their working arrangements to deal with such caring commitments.


A person is a "dependant" for the purposes of carer’s leave if they:

  • Are a spouse, civil partner, child or parent of the employee.
  • Live in the same household as the employee, otherwise than by reason of being the employee’s boarder, employee, lodger or tenant, or reasonably rely on the employee to provide or arrange care.

A dependant has a “long-term care need” for these purposes if:

  • they have an illness or injury (whether physical or mental) that requires, or is likely to require, care for more than three months.
  • They have a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 or
  • They require care for a reason connected with their old age.

Leave provisions

Carer’s leave is available to all employees of the Council irrespective of their length of service as covered by the definitions above.

You should request carer’s leave from your manager by following the current absence or annual leave notification procedure. All requests for carer’s leave should be recorded on MyView.

Unplanned leave (paid)

Unplanned carer’s leave is to deal with emergency obligations such as illness, injury or where normal care arrangements break down. This leave should not be used for pre-planned occurrences, for example hospital and dental appointments.

Carer’s leave consists of up to a maximum of 5 days paid leave (pro-rated for part time) in any one leave year to deal with emergency obligations and may be taken in half days, single days or block periods. When normal care arrangements break down, you will be expected to make alternative arrangements as soon as possible.

For any leave requests in excess of 5 days, you should discuss the reasons for this request in more detail with your manager. Requests for additional leave must be approved by the Chief Officer in consultation with Human Resources. This leave may be paid or unpaid, and, in exceptional circumstances, unpaid leave may be extended (up to a maximum of 3 months) subject to the needs of the Service.

Planned/Statutory leave (unpaid)

Planned carer’s leave is to deal with situations where reasonable advance notice is available. This leave is to cover pre-planned occurrences such as hospital or dental appointments, legal meetings or residential care meetings.

This leave is unpaid although you may request annual and flexi leave or for extended periods, and parental leave can be requested for childcare issues. This should be requested using MyView - Unpaid Special Leave.

It is an over-riding principle that service provision will not suffer and, whilst every effort will be made to support employees in relation to pre-planned leave requests, there may be occasions where, due to other circumstances, such as office cover or service provisions, requests may be refused. This will be discussed with you and alternative options considered.

Where the leave is due to a bereavement, the provisions for compassionate leave or parental bereavement leave will apply.

Different notice periods apply for statutory carer’s leave as noted below:

If you are using statutory leave to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need, you can request up to one week’s unpaid leave (pro rata for part time) in a rolling 12-month period which can be taken as one continuous block of leave, or multiple shorter periods through the year. The minimum period is half a day.

If you wish to take statutory carer’s leave, you will need to give notice which must:

  • specify that you are entitled to take statutory carer's leave
  • specify the days on which you want to take carer's leave (and specify if the leave relates to part of a day); and
  • be given in advance - the notice period is either at least twice as many days as the period of leave requested or, if longer, three days.

The notice can relate to all or part of your entitlement and does not need to be in writing. Your manager, may on occasion, be able to waive the notice requirement provided you are otherwise eligible to take carer’s leave.

Statutory carer’s leave cannot be declined but may be postponed where all of the following apply:

  • We reasonably consider that the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted if it allowed the leave during the requested period.
  • We allow you to take a period of carer’s leave of the same duration, within a month of the period initially requested.
  • We give you written notice within seven days of the initial request, setting out the reason for the postponement and the agreed dates on which the leave can be taken.