We currently offer an attractive Enhanced Maternity Package. As the new legislation regarding Additional Paternity Leave and Pay is coming into affect next month, we have been discussing the cost of offering an Enhanced Paternity Package. I am aware that we don’t have to offer an Enhanced Paternity Package, but of course this leaves us open to claims of sex discrimination. I was wondering if anybody else is in the same position and what action they are going to take? One of the ideas we have been thinking about is to reduce the amount of Enhanced Maternity Pay and offer an Enhanced Paternity Package as well. At the moment we are just exploring different options, so any advice or guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 April 2011
Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

By way of recap, from 3 April 2011, eligible fathers or partners are able to take the residual entitlement of leave and pay where their partner (the child’s mother or adopter) returns to work prior to her leave/pay entitlements coming to an end. Those eligible will be entitled to up to 26 weeks’ additional paternity leave (APL) from 20 weeks after the child’s birth or adoption. The leave may be paid if taken during the mother or partner’s statutory maternity pay period, maternity allowance period or statutory adoption pay period. Leave taken after this period has ended would be unpaid.

In terms of the question, employers in this position have three options:

The first is to do nothing,

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Emma-Jane Flannery. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email Emma-Jane.Flannery@arthurcox.com

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