Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016

Preservation or suspension of rights while on paternity leave

19. (1) During a period of absence from work by an employee while on paternity leave, the employee shall be deemed to have been in the employment of the employer and, accordingly, while so absent the employee shall, subject to subsection (4) and section 21 , be treated as if she or he had not been so absent; and such absence shall not affect any right related to the employee’s employment (other than the employee’s right to remuneration during such absence), whether conferred by statute, contract or otherwise.

(2) A period of absence from work whilst on paternity leave shall not be treated as part of any other leave (including sick leave, annual leave, additional maternity leave, subsection (1)(a) leave or subsection (1)(b) leave within the meaning of section 16 of the Act of 1994, adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave within the meaning of the Act of 1995) to which the employee concerned is entitled.

(3) Where an employee who is—

(a) on probation in his or her employment,

(b) undergoing training in relation to that employment, or

(c) employed under a contract of apprenticeship,

takes paternity leave, and his or her employer considers that the employee’s absence from his or her employment while on such leave would not be consistent with the continuance of the probation, training or apprenticeship, the employer may require that the probation, training or apprenticeship shall stand suspended during the period of leave concerned and be completed by the employee at the end of that period.

(4) An employee shall be deemed not to be an employed contributor for the purposes of the Act of 2005 for any contribution week within the meaning of that Act in a period of absence from work on paternity leave if the employee does not receive any reckonable earnings within the meaning of that Act in respect of that week.