Paternity pay when you have more than one job

What are your rights to parental leave and pay if you have more than one job?

paternity leave inadequate uk


An increasing number of parents are doing more than one job, particularly during the cost of living crisis. But what are the implications for paternity pay if you have two or more jobs?

Statutory paternity leave is two weeks’ leave with Statutory Paternity Pay [SPP] paid at the statutory rate of £184.03 a week. Under new rules you can now split those two weeks into two blocks of one week at any point in the first year after the birth or adoption of your child.

Your employer may also offer an enhanced paternity pay policy and will have their own policy about how this applies. To qualify you must be an employee, earn at least an average of £123 a week before tax and have been employed by the same employer for 26 weeks up until the 15th week before the due date. Other rules also apply on giving your employer the correct notice, for instance, and the eligibility is slightly different for adoption. Check if you are eligible here.

Having two jobs and taking paternity leave

The good news is that you can start your statutory paternity leave for either job at different times if you qualify and get two lots of SPP. You do not have to pay statutory pay back if you do not return to either of your employers once you have satisfied the eligibility criteria.

During your leave, you cannot do any work for the employer who is paying you SPP at that point. However, you can work for another employer during that period if they employed you in the 15th week before the baby is due.

What if I am self-employed or do agency work?

You will not be eligible for statutory paternity pay if you are self-employed, but being self-employed will not stop you getting SPP if you also do an employed job where you qualify for the payment.

If you do agency, casual or freelance work and are not considered an ’employee’, you won’t get paternity leave, but you can get SPP if your employer deducts tax and NI from your wages, usually through PAYE, and you meet the normal qualifying conditions for SPP. You will need to agree the time off with your employer or agency to get the SPP.

Shared Parental Leave

If you meet the qualifying conditions, you can take shared parental leave and pay, providing you are still employed in the job up to the start of shared parental leave and you give the correct notice. For more information. See more on SPL here. You can continue working in another job if you take SPL in one job if you were employed by that employer in the 15th week before your baby was due). You can also continue to do self-employed work, but if you are doing other work you will need to show that you are still caring for your child during parental leave.

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