I like to think of myself as a pluralist which, for those of you who have never come across the word before means that you do lots of different things.  So I’m a solicitor, a company director, a consultant, a property owner and a professional drinker, to name but a few.

However, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m not now branching out into advice on pregnancy and babies, and both of my sons will probably tell you that that’s a really good thing!

Nevertheless, as both an employer and a solicitor who advises on employment law matters, I need to know about maternity and paternity leave, and (more importantly) be aware when these things change.

So for those of you for whom paternity leave might be important, we’ve just had a few changes that might be more relevant than how to change a nappy.

The main points are

  1. Fathers no longer have to take paternity leave in one stretch of up to 2 weeks – you can take two separate weeks, particularly useful if you want to limit your time around crying babies and interfering inlaws.
  2. They also have longer to let their employer know – the notification to take leave must now be given no later than 28 days before the expected due date, instead of the previous 15 weeks.  I’m sure that’s more about flexibility for planning purposes, and hopefully not a reflection of the number of people who didn’t know they were about to be fathers until the last minute!
  3. Fathers can also choose when to take their leave during the first 52 weeks from the birth – so they can take a week at the beginning for some important bonding time, but then another week when the baby is a bit older for some equally important playing time!

If paternity leave (or even maternity leave) is something that is likely to affect you in the near future, either as an employer or a potential parent, then let’s share a bottle of milk or wine, depending on your needs and preferences, and we can come up with a plan faster than I discovered the ability to eat with one hand whilst holding a baby in the other.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Constantly giving birth to good ideas.