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How much paternity leave do partners usually take?

(24 Posts)
Purplesj26 Tue 13-Jan-15 12:17:35


Might be a silly question but I wanted to know how long partners are intending to take when the baby arrives? My husband will be starting a new job the month before baby arrives and wants to take just 1 week when the baby is born. I'm really worried about this because its our first baby and i'll be recovering from the birth and learning how to look after a new born and I would feel better if I had him around for a bit longer for support. But I don't want to drag him away from his new job if its not usually necessary for partners to be there for 2 weeks and I wanted to get some thoughts on this, Thanks!

skyra13 Tue 13-Jan-15 12:25:42

My husband is a teacher and baby is actually due at the start if the Easter break so if baby arrives on time I will have 4 weeks with my hubby so am lucky 2 weeks Easter hols then he is taking 2 weeks leave.
It is normally 2 weeks but its up to him if he wants to take 1 week or more, I know the law is changing in April in the UK to take shared time off as couple.

I would speak to your hubby is this your first? I really think a week is not long enough.

NorwaySpruce Tue 13-Jan-15 12:25:55

Mine took anything between 2 and 4 weeks.

It wasn't necessary for him to be around to 'help' though. He took the time off because leave is hard to get, so you take it at the slightest provocation grin and because new babies are a novelty/excuse for visitors/fun.

If he'd had no time off at all, we'd have been fine, but it would have felt like a bit of a non-event (I had a bog standard pregnancy, and the children had no additional medical needs, might have had more issues otherwise).

Newborns sleep and feed, that's pretty much it, for weeks.

tumbletime Tue 13-Jan-15 12:26:14

my DP took 3 weeks, the 2 weeks statutory paternity leave plus a weeks annual leave. It flew by and I was very thankful he was there! I was in hopsital for 3 days after the birth so if he had only had a week off I would only have had him around for the first 4 days at home which would have been tough. I would be encouraging him to take the 2 full weeks if possible, for both your sakes. I think he may be underestimating how attached he'll be to your baby and how much he'll want to spend time with them, which is understandable seeing as it's your first child. smile

bagofsnakes Tue 13-Jan-15 12:26:15

My partner is taking two weeks but then he's been in his new job for nearly 8 months now, so he feels more confident taking that time. While, having been a new mum and with DC2 arriving any day, I completely empathise with you, I do also understand your OH's reluctance to take more time. Can you get some family to come and stay? Even though my DH is taking two weeks, I am very nervous about becoming a mother of two and so I'm going to have members of my family coming to stay, a friend here and there and then DH's family coming over from abroad to stay in March. Hoping not to be alone with the two of them until DC2 is about 7 or 8 weeks old!

I know that some people feel funny about having people to stay after a new baby but I say get any help that you can. Basically, anyone is welcome to stay with us post baby as long as they are willing to be on tea/washing up duty, they don't expect me to get out of my PJs and that they want to hold the new baby while I get a shower and brush my teeth!

espa Tue 13-Jan-15 12:28:20

Is your husband entitled to paternity leave if he only starts a new job a month before the baby comes? Has he checked his employer's policy? I suspect he'll need to take any leave as holiday unless his employer is very reasonable as you usually have to have worked for an employer for a certain length of time prior to EDD to be entitled to paternity leave (based on experience).

SophieBarringtonWard Tue 13-Jan-15 12:32:39

espa not in the NHS at any rate, DH was able to take 2 weeks leave, one paid at statutory rate, one unpaid, just 6 weeks after starting work.

OP I would gun for the 2 weeks if poss, especially for your first. It's a nice time to spend together even if you have an easy time of it & don't 'need' the help.

dementedpixie Tue 13-Jan-15 12:37:04

he won't be entitled to paternity leave if he is in a new job so would have to rely on the goodwill of his new employer in order to get some annual leave (unless is says otherwise in his T&C's)

Dh took 2 weeks annual leave as the paternity pay was so pitiful.

OmnipotentQueenOfTheUniverse Tue 13-Jan-15 12:41:47

Mine took 2 weeks paternity and 2 weeks annual leave for both.

I had CS for both and also with the second one depression so him being around was invaluable!

I must admit I thought the rules had changed so pat leave was a lot better these days, obviously not which is a shame. I'm surprised there is a minimum amount you have to be in a job before you are allowed it.

Probably everything will go smoothly though in which case you won't need help BUT it is good for the father as well as the mother to have that time with a new baby to bond as a family if poss.

GlitzAndGigglesx Tue 13-Jan-15 12:44:58

Mine took the 2 weeks which was enough for me. I was ebfing at the time so he wasn't much use in that department! It was nice having time alone with my new baby

espa Tue 13-Jan-15 13:06:26

Interesting, Sophie - had he worked for NHS previously and just changed roles? As my DH wasn't entitled to paternity leave per the government guidelines when he started a new job in April and I was due in December. If he'd started 9 days earlier it would have been fine. His employer went with standard gov statutory pat leave entitlement.

SophieBarringtonWard Tue 13-Jan-15 13:31:26

Nope it was his first role in the NHS. If he had been there longer I think he would have had 1 week at 90% and 1 week at statutory but tbh I can't quite remember the ins & outs of it. This was just the standard leave though no enhanced parental sharing or anything.

GothicRainbow Tue 13-Jan-15 13:34:57

My DH is self employed so he took 1 week, but kind of worked from home on and off during that time. I had a CS and my DS had reflux from birth so it wasn't the easiest time but we managed.

I think if we ever have another child I will try and get him to take abit more time off though.

gymboywalton Tue 13-Jan-15 13:35:38

dh took a month

butternut22 Tue 13-Jan-15 13:38:42

My husband is taking 2 weeks paternity and 2 weeks annual leave. I would struggle if he only took one week.

isthisjustfantasy Tue 13-Jan-15 13:44:26

I'm due with DC2 in march and DP is taking two weeks paternity which he gets at full pay and a weeks annual leave. Last time he took two weeks as well even though we thought he only got statutory paternity pay.

I would definitely encourage you to go for two weeks if possible. A week will go so quick.

sleepybee Tue 13-Jan-15 13:48:34

My hubs it taking 10 days paternity leave plus 2 weeks holiday but the holiday dates are fixed and won't be easy to change them if baby is early late so there may be a gap between the pat leave & the holiday. Which I'm fine with now not sure how fine I'll be when baby is here ha wink

WhyOWhyWouldYou Tue 13-Jan-15 13:49:15

With DC1 DH had 2weeks paternity, followed by 2weeks annual leave. I couldn't have had him go back earlier - I didn't cope well (ended up with PND) and had a severe silent reflux baby, who basically cried and fed constantly. DH had been in that job 6months.

This time the plan had been that he'd take 2weeks pat, 2 weeks a/l, followed by 2weeks of half days a/l to ease me into things more. However he's got a new job, he will have just 2working days in his new job before my ELCS. He did say at interview, when they asked about any important upcoming leave, that he'd got annual leave booked to follow paternity leave, but not how much, and they had said they would honour it. We were very worried about him actually asking for it and I didn't feel I could cope with less than the 4weeks and would still have preferred the two weeks of half days after that. In the end he asked them for 2weeks pat followed by 2weeks a/l - he was very very worried about asking and extremely apologetic when asking but his new boss said "don't worry its normal to have that much leave after a baby". I think it helps that DH works in a female dominated environment.

My mom is going to come and stay for 1-2weeks after DH has gone back to work, to make sure I'm OK this time and let DH settle into his new job without worrying about me.

mrsmilkymoo Tue 13-Jan-15 13:52:22

Dh took two weeks, but used holiday. Since I had an emcs and no family or friends nearby, I was very glad he was there. Not sure how I'd have managed to eat or drink myself otherwise as it seemed dd was always on the boob, so he was useful in keeping me fed and watered!

sleepyhead Tue 13-Jan-15 13:57:31

Dh took 2 weeks with ds1 - 1 week SPP and 1 week A/L.

With ds2 he took 2 weeks SPP plus 2 weeks A/L which turned out to be a godsend as I ended up back in hospital for a week when ds2 was 9 days old and we would have had a nightmare with childcare for ds1 otherwise.

He also took 6 months additional parental leave when I returned to work after 6 months (3 months at SMP rate, 3 months unpaid).

With ds1 I'd have been ok if he'd gone back after a week, but it was lovely having the 2 weeks.

chillybits Tue 13-Jan-15 13:58:58

MY DH took one and a half weeks first time round and a week both of the other times, with the odd bit of working from home. Ofcourse I would have liked longer but it was really fine.

WhyOWhyWouldYou Tue 13-Jan-15 13:59:02

Oh and good point about whether he'll qualify - has he checked?

DH only qualified in each of his new jobs because they were NHS and they count length of service in the NHS rather than at each different hospital trust he's been at.

weeblueberry Tue 13-Jan-15 14:04:15

DH took 2 weeks paternity and 2 weeks annual leave with our first; planning to do the same with the second.

He's been with his charity for nearly 10 years though and they're big on work/life balance so it was agiven he would take that time.

It made a massive difference last time. He could stay up until 1am with the wee one while she was still awake and I could get 4 hours uninterrupted before she needed to feed etc. And it meant we got out a lot more than if I'd been on my own with her. He also had plenty time to batch cook for me for when he went back to work! grin

TheOnlyWayIsLindt Tue 13-Jan-15 14:06:56

Mine took 2 weeks (1 week paternity leave, 1 week holiday) when ds1 was born, but I was in hospital for the first week of that and we moved house at the same time.

1 week for ds2 which was more than enough. I was itching to get back to a normal routine after day 3!

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