How do I write a paternity leave letter?

  • An employee whose wife, civil partner or partner gives birth to a child, or who is the biological father of the child, is entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave provided that they have 26 weeks’ continuous service by the end of the 15th week before the week in which the child is expected.

Paternity leave is also available to adoptive parents where a child is matched or newly placed with them for adoption. Either the adoptive father or the adoptive mother may take paternity leave where the other adoptive parent has elected to take adoption leave. A separate policy is available in respect of adoption leave. To be eligible for paternity leave, the employee must have 26 weeks’ of continuous service ending with the week in which the child’s adopter is notified of having been matched with the child for adoption.

To qualify for paternity leave, the employee must also have, or expect to have, responsibility for the upbringing of the child and be making the request to help care for the child or to support the child’s mother.

A Paternity Leave Request Letter is a document used to notify an employer of your intention to take Ordinary Paternity Leave.


How should I write a paternity leave letter?

A paternity leave letter should be polite, factual, accurate, and contain all the relevant information related to your leave request. As much as you can, it should also make use of brevity, and avoid embellishment.

Include; when do you plan to request your paternity leave for, how long and whether you would like to take the two weeks as one occasion or split to two one week blocks.

To begin with, a polite introduction outlining your request to take paternity leave at an expected due date is a good place to start. This provides a brief opening, and is best followed by a body and a conclusion, including a polite thanks.

If you have any verbal agreements made beforehand, listing them here can be helpful, too, not only to include but also to remind your employer of their consent.


What details should be included?

It’s wise to include your departure and return dates, including anything you expect your employer or cover to handle in your absence. A bullet point list can be useful, but is optional.

This might include a few provisions that you will make to ensure work can carry on in your absence. For instance, you may say “all safety equipment will be securely locked and I will hand over my access keys to X the night of my departure.”

If you have attached any paperwork, make sure to refer that you have attached it to the letter. This will help relate the various documents to one application, and notify anyone reading your letter digitally or should they not see the forms included to chase up on that.


How should you sign off?

A polite thank you for respecting your rights and obligations in the current matter is a healthy way of showcasing your appreciation for their amenity during this time – as well as serving as a gentle, non-intrusive reminder that you should be eligible for such an allowance.


Responding to a paternity letter from your employee

If you need help with writing a letter, responding to your employee’s request for paternity leave, then take a look at our template letter.

Services that can aid with the writing of these letters and provide essential, outsourced and bespoke HR consultancy, such as Harwood HR Solutions, can help these essential processes move forward smoothly.

Feel free to get in touch to ensure your company becomes the hallmark of HR professionalism.


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