UCL Human Resources


Paternity/Partner's Leave and Pay Policy

This policy sets out UCL's entitlements to paternity/partners leave (PL).


Purpose and Scope

1. This policy sets out UCL's entitlements to paternity/partners leave (PL). 

2. This policy also sets out the additional provisions and entitlements for fathers and partners whose baby needs neonatal care because they are premature or because they have health issues at birth.

3. For further information on other types of leave available for parents, guardians and carers please see the relevant policy A-Z section on the policy page


4. There is no qualifying length of service in order to be eligible for PL. 

5. The employee must be:

i) the father of the child and/or;

ii) the mother's spouse, civil partner or partner and/or;

iii) the partner of the primary adoptive parent


iv) a UCL employee on the date the child is born / placed with them for adoption.

6. To be eligible for paternity/partner's leave, the employee must also have, or expect to have, responsibility for the child's upbringing.



Average Weekly Earnings. Calculated by totalling the gross earnings in the relevant period and dividing by the number of weeks in that period.


Expected Week of Childbirth/ Notification Week. The week beginning on the Sunday in which it is expected the baby will be born.


Paternity/Partner’s Leave


Time off for Appointments

7. Employees in a “qualifying relationship” as above, may request paid carer’s leave to accompany the pregnant employee to hospital and antenatal appointments under the Special Leave Policy.

8. If an employee has exhausted their entitlement to carer's leave, they may take:

i) annual leave;


ii) unpaid leave on up to two occasions for a maximum of six-and-a-half hours for each appointment.

9. Partners of primary adoptive parents are entitled to take unpaid time off in order to attend up to two adoption appointments, once they are matched with a child.

10. Adoptive parents in a surrogacy arrangement are entitled to unpaid leave to attend up to two antenatal appointments.

11. Employees must endeavour to give as much notice as possible to their line manager for antenatal appointments.

Entitlement to Paternity/Partner's Leave

12. Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 20 days PL (prorated for part time employees)

13. In instances of multiple births, the entitlement remains 20 days in total (pro-rated for part time employees). 

14. PL must be taken within 3 months after the date of the birth or adoption (including situations where the baby is sadly born stillborn beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy). PL does not have to be taken at one time and can be spread over this 3 month period.

Entitlement to Paternity/Partner's Pay

15. Providing that the correct notification processes have been followed (section 4.4) and they are a UCL employee when their child is born / placed for adoption, all employees taking PL, regardless of length of service, are entitled to full pay during PL.  

16. This includes the entitlement to statutory paternity pay (SPP) for employees with more than six months service at the Notification Week (15th week before the expected week of childbirth) provided that the AWE are above the lower earnings limit for National Insurance contributions. 

17. Payment of Paternity Pay commences simultaneously with the beginning of the PL period and is paid monthly in arrears (in the same way salary is paid). 

Notification Process

18. At least 15 weeks before the EWC (the expected week of childbirth /notification week) the employee must inform their line manager of their partner’s due date and the dates they would like to take their paternity leave.  

19. In cases of adoption, the employee must inform their line manager within 7 days of being matched with a child:

  • the date they are matched with the child
  • the placement start date
  • the dates they would like you to take Paternity/ Partner’s Leave

20. Employees can change their mind about the dates for paternity leave, by giving at least 28 days’ notice of the new dates. Notice requirements will be waived where the baby arrives early or late and in the event that the dates need to be changed in these circumstances, the employee must submit a new form and select amendment at the start of the form.

21. The employee should complete the online application form to confirm the dates and provide a copy of the MATB1 form or adoption certificate. Once signed by the Line Manager, the application form will automatically be sent to HR Services for processing. HR Services will then write to the employee confirming the dates of their Paternity/Partner's Leave

22. The employee can contact HR Services if they have a query about eligible dates and entitlements. Please visit the parental leave toolkit page for useful tools and documents to help you plan your leave. 

Stillbirths and Miscarriages 

23. Where an employee’s partner has a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or termination before 24 weeks of pregnancy, there are no entitlements to PL . The employee's partner may however request some time off under the Special Leave Policy ,or be entitled to occupational and/or statutory sick pay if they themselves are unwell as a result.

24. Where an employee's partner has a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy onwards, or the baby only survives for a short period of time after birth, full paternity leave and paternity pay will be retained, irrespective of the timing of the birth.  In addition, they are entitled to take 4 weeks’ paid bereavement leave, which can be added to the end of their paternity leave. For further details, please read the Special Leave Policy.

25. Employees can access support and counselling via the Employee Assistance Programme.

26. Employees may also wish to access support from various baby loss organisations. 

Neonatal Leave

27. UCL recognises the emotional and financial difficulties which arise from premature births and situations where a new-born is immediately hospitalised after birth.

28. Employees who are entitled to paternity / partners’ leave under this policy will also be entitled to an additional period of leave which can be taken after their entitlement to paternity leave and pay has been exhausted. Neonatal leave will be provided in the situations above at 4.61 and where the baby is in hospital for at least 7 days following the birth.

29. Employees will be entitled to neonatal leave on full pay, equivalent to the number of days that their baby has been either in neonatal care, or has had to be hospitalised immediately following birth, for at least 7 days. This leave is capped at 6 weeks.

30.Neonatal leave must not be taken in conjunction with any other type of parental leave, or annual leave.

31. Employees wishing to take neonatal leave should notify their Line Manager of their intention to take this leave and how many days they would like to take, as soon as reasonably practicable.

32. Neonatal leave is provided in addition to carer’s leave under the Special Leave Policy.

33. Neonatal leave does not need to be agreed by the Line Manager or HR because it is an automatic entitlement, providing the criteria are met. However, the employee, Line Manager or Departmental Administrator must request/record the period of paid leave for the appropriate number of days/weeks in MyHR as “Paid Leave”, “Other”, in order that the pay can be processed and it is clear that the employee has not yet returned to work, A comment should be recorded to state the leave is Neonatal leave.

Continuity of Employment 

34. The employment contract with UCL continues during PL, and the period of continuous employment for the calculation of superannuation, benefits, accrual of annual leave and entitlement to statutory rights, is not affected. 

Monitoring of Policy

35. The Employment Policy Team will keep the monitoring of paternity/partner’s leave and the operation of this policy under review


Updated by HR Employment Policy Team
December 2023