An employee may choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks paternity leave. The employee cannot choose to take odd days or two separate non-consecutive weeks.
The employee must complete their paternity leave within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child.
If the child is born early, leave must be taken within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the week in which the birth was expected. If the child is born late, the eight-week period runs from the date of the actual birth.
Only one period of paternity leave is available at any one time even if the pregnancy results in a multiple birth or the adoption placement is for more than one child. An employee cannot start a period of paternity leave before the child is born.
In the case of a child adopted within the UK, the employee must take his paternity leave within the eight-week period from when the child is placed for adoption.