minimum pay workers

Minimum Pay and Parental Leave

This blog gives you the basics on minimum pay and parental leave changes with links to where you can find more from HMRC.

Don’t get caught out with changes to National Living and Minimum Wage rates!

National Living and Minimum Wage rates are increasing on 1 April 2024. The National Living Wage is extended to workers aged 21 and over (previously age 23).

Increases to the minimum wage are a key part of the government’s action to support households with the cost of living.

All employers must ensure that their workers are paid correctly, according to the new rates.

Even if you are paying your workers an hourly wage at or above the National Living or National Minimum Wage, you could still be underpaying them. This can happen when if you make wage deductions, counts tips towards pay, deducts costs of workwear or tools from pay, or don’t pay for all time worked.

Businesses can take these simple actions to meet their legal responsibilities and avoid falling foul of the law:

  1. check the new rates on GOV.UK.
  2. identify which staff are due the new rate.
  3. update your payroll and communicate the changes to your staff as soon as possible.
  4. call the Acas helpline to get advice and support on paying workers correctly.
  5. visit the calculating the minimum wage guidance page to view practical advice.

couple with a new baby

Employees get new rights on Paternity Leave and Pay!

From the 8th March 2024 HM Government made changes to Paternity leave and pay to make it more flexible for fathers and partners to access.

Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay under the new rules will apply if the expected date of birth of a baby is after the 6th April 2024.

Paternity leave – What has Changed?

Employees can now take their leave in non-consecutive blocks. Currently only one block of leave can be taken – which can either be 1 or 2 weeks. The change will enable fathers to take 2 non-consecutive weeks of leave.

A week is defined as the number of days normally worked. For example, a week is 2 days if your employee only works on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Fathers and partners can now take their leave and pay at any point in the first year after birth or adoption of their child.

They must give you 28 days’ notice if they want to change the start date for each period of leave. But, they can inform you to take leave at a general time, such as the day of the birth or 1 week after the birth.

Who is eligible?

Employees can take time off because their partner’s having a baby, adopting a child or having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement. They must be taking time off to look after the child and be one of the following; the

  • father.
  • husband or partner of the mother (or adopter) – this includes same-sex partners.
  • child’s adopter.
  • intended parent (if you’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement.

They could get both 1 or 2 weeks’ paid Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay and, while on leave, your employees employment rights are protected.

How much Time-off and Leave?

Employees can take unpaid leave to accompany their partner (or the surrogate mother) to 2 antenatal appointments, up to 6 and a half hours per appointment. You can choose to give them longer.

Employees can apply for leave immediately if they’re a permanent employee. Agency workers need to have been doing a job for 12 weeks before they qualify.

If your employee is adopting, they are entitled to attend 2 adoption appointments after they’ve been matched with a child.

The rules are different for adoption. Employees may also be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) but they cannot take Paternity Leave after they take SPL.


The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay is £172.48, or 90% of your employees’ average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). Pay them the same way, monthly or weekly, and with Tax and National Insurance deducted.

Minimum pay and parental leave are statutory requirements and failure to provide them could lead to employee disputes. Whatever your business, Tapoly provides Employers Liability insurance which can cover issues with employees if they arise.

You can find out more about Minimum Pay and Paternal Leave at these Useful links:

How to claim paternity pay and leave
Adopting? Rules for paternity pay and leave
When can your paternity leave start?
Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Content is adapted under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright