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Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay Changes in 2024

These affect us personally and professionally and if you have policies and procedures regarding Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) and Pay (SPP), be aware of changes coming from the start of the 2024/25 tax year. This information is provided to help you prepare. 

The Government committed to making it easier for fathers to take leave (and pay) as follows:

– The 2 weeks can be taken in non-consecutive blocks of one week (compared to the fixed regime now)
– Instead of having to take the 2 weeks within 56 days of the birth / placement of a child, this is extended to 52 weeks
– The employee will have to provide a ‘Notification of entitlement‘ 15 weeks before the birth / placement AND
– A leave request form 28 days before the required leave dates

There is NOT a change to the eligibility and rate of payment / reclaim criteria just the current rules will be more flexible. Legislation will be introduced so the changes are effective 06 April 2024 and in place by 08 March 2024 (28 days before 06 April 2024).

A small change but a major one for employers. So, we have prepared a simple action checklist below:

Check (Y/N / N/A)
Policies and procedures
There are changes to the length of time over which leave (and pay) can be taken, how it can be taken and notifications the employee must give.
Payroll and HR software must allow the flexibility from 06 April 2024. If you use HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools, they have advised this will be updated.
Gov.UK forms
The forms will change and you need to have these in your possession (the SC3, SC4, SC5, SPP1 and SPP2).
Internal forms
The above are not mandatory and you may have your own versions to update. Remember, there is the notification of entitlement AND the notification of leave start date.
Online guidance
HMRC produce a range of calculators, eligibility checker and guidance. They assure these will be updated in time for the reforms. Make sure you are referring to the correct and updated guidance.
This is a reform of an existing entitlement. But people need to know!
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