When it comes to being a dad, there's no stupid question! Here's a list of common questions.
If you have one not on here, please reach out into our Dads at Work private group for more answers, or get in touch if you think there's a question we're missing.
I've just found out I'm going to be a new dad...what do I need to know!?
Who do I need to tell at work about me becoming a new dad, and when?
Generally you will want to give your employer as much notice as possible.
This isn't just to keep them in the loop. It's so that they can get any arrangements sorted in good time too.
What am I entitled to in terms of antenatal appointments?
Father's and partners of pregnant women are entitled to unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments. Some employers may grant more than that, but that is the ACAS ruling.
Is there anything I should be aware of in terms of specific time off for antenatal appointments?
Time off per appointment is capped at 6.5 hours, to include travelling and waiting time.
You may need to sign a document from your employer confirming the appointment.
Paternity leave options
How do I know if I'm entitled to Statutory Paternity Leave and what does it cover?
To qualify for statutory paternity leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date.
You can take paternity leave for blocks of 1 or 2 weeks, and it starts the day the baby is born, unless you agree a latter date with your employer in advance.
Paternity leave has to be taken within 56 days of the birth.
How much is Statutory Paternity Pay?
You will be paid a flat rate of £145.18 per week or 90% of your average weekly wage, whichever is lower. To ensure you get it you do need to keep working for your employer up to the date of the birth.
Who is eligible for Shared Parental Leave?
You are eligible for Shared Parental Leave if:
- You share care of the child(ren).
- You have been working for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date.
- Your partner has worked for at least 26 weeks of 66 weeks before their due date (doesn't have to be continous).
- Has earned at least £31 per week on average for 13 of those 66 weeks.
What are the main differences between Statutory Leave and Shared Parental Leave?
There is more detail in our Leave Options guide, but the main difference is that Statutory Paternity Leave is taken in blocks of 1-2 weeks (and has to be taken within 56 days of birth). Whereas Shared Parental Leave lets mums and dads share upto 50 weeks, and upto 37 weeks of pay.
Return to work
How do I prepare to go back to work?
Whether you've had days, weeks or months in leave, returning to work can feel like quite the shock. One thing you'll want to do is rehearsing the routine you'll be in. For example, if you're responsible for the night feed, it would be an idea to do the same one each night for a week before you're back to work.
What's the best way to show I still care about work?
Speak to your company about your career goals and make it clear to them that even though you have restructured certain things around your new routines, you still aspire to grow and develop.
I've been hearing more about 'compressed hours' - what is that?
You can read more in our full guide on compressed hours and flexible working, but essentially compressed hours means doing the full job hours, but in fewer days. Typically this means doing a 35 hour week in 4 days. There are benefits and challenges with it which is covered in the guide.
Can my employer stop me working flexibly?
If you put in a statutory request then they have to at least consider it fairly and reasonably against their legal obligations to offer flexible working.