Government announces rate of paternity pay and shared parental leave pay for 2021 and the rises are not generous.
New dads will get an extra 77p per week from April. The paltry paternity pay rise was announced by the government as part of the new rates that will come into force in 2021.
Statutory paternity pay, like statutory maternity and parental pay will increase from £151.20 to £151.97. Adoption pay will mirror the other benefits.
The rises are expected to take effect on April 4. Dads who have been with the same employer for 26 weeks are eligible for two weeks of paternity leave. It’s not thought any period of furlough will interfere with that eligibility. Mums can transfer some of their leave to their partner via Shared Parental Leave and their partner gets paid at the same statutory level she would’ve received after the first six weeks following birth.
Low levels of statutory parental pay are blamed by many campaigners for low take up of Shared Parental Leave. The gender pay gap means men tend to earn more than women, consequently it’s a bigger drop for many dads from their regular pay to the statutory rate.
Other nations are extending statutory paternity leave next year. Belgium will give new dads five extra days and France is to double leave to 28 days including a mandatory element.
The UK government held a consultation into extending paternity leave last year. However findings have yet to be published and it appears the project has been dropped following Boris Johnson’s election victory.