Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) Rates & Eligibility

Last updated: October 2019

Recent Update: For the 2019 – 2020 Tax Year, the following has changed:
Minimum weekly pay to qualify for SPP: this is now £118 per week.
Weekly SPP rate: this is now a maximum of £148.68 per week.


Working out the correct Statutory Paternity Pay your employees are entitled to can take critical time away from your working day. Handling eligibility, working out the amount they are entitled to and maintaining records of their Statutory Paternity Pay requires stringent attention to detail and the capacity to ensure soon-to-be parents receive their full entitlement on time. FMP Global can help do this for you – we offer both outsourced part-managed bureau and fully-managed payroll solutions to manage the process of Statutory Paternity Pay for your employees.

What is Statutory Paternity Pay?

If an employee’s partner is due to give birth, adopt a child or have a child through a surrogate, they are entitled to receive Statutory Paternity Pay if they meet the conditions for eligibility.

Statutory Paternity Pay’s weekly rate is £148.68 or 90% of their average weekly earnings (the lowest of the two). Tax and national insurance are deducted and the payments are made in the same way as wages.

Eligibility for Statutory Paternity Pay

outsourced payroll

To be eligible for Statutory Paternity Pay, an employee must:

  • Be the father, husband/partner of the mother/adopter, the child’s adopter, or the intended parent through surrogacy
  • Provide sufficient and correct notice (this will need to be a minimum of 15 weeks prior to the week before the baby is due)
  • Have worked consistently for the employer for a minimum of 26 weeks up until the 15th week (‘qualifying week’) prior to the expected due date of the baby
  • Remain employed by the employer up until the day the baby is born/their adopted baby is placed with them
  • Earn at least £118 a week within an 8 week ‘relevant period’
  • Be using their time off to look after their child and/or partner.

For Statutory Paternity Leave (1 or 2 consecutive weeks which cannot be taken until after the child is born), the employees’ paternity leave will need to end within 56 days after the child is born.

To be eligible for Paternity Leave, the employee must be classified as such – not a ‘worker’. You can find more about this on the government’s Employment status guide.

How to Calculate your Employees’ SPP Entitlement

In order to work out an employee’s SPP entitlement, you first have to work out their average weekly earnings in a ‘relevant period’.

The Relevant Period

Usually, the relevant period is the 8 week period before the qualifying week (15 weeks before the week of the baby’s expected birth).

The end of this period will be the last normal payday on or before the Saturday of the qualifying week (or, if the baby is born before or during the qualifying week – this date). The start of the relevant period is the day following the employee’s last normal payday, falling at least 8 weeks before the end of the relevant period.

Weekly paid example (baby due 25th March 2020)


Last payday at least 8 weeks before the end of the relevant period


Last payday on or before the Saturday of the QW

9th – 15th  December 2019Friday18th October 201913th December 2019


Here, the relevant period is 18th October to 12th December. Once you have added up all the earnings in this period, divide by the number of weeks in this period (in the example, 8) to get their average weekly earnings.

Monthly paid example: (baby due 25th March 2020)


Last payday at least 8 weeks before the end of the relevant period

9th – 15th December 2019Last working day of the month30th September 201929th November 2019


Here the relevant period is 30th September to 29th November. To get the average weekly earnings, you should add up the earnings in this period, divide by the number of months in the relevant period, multiply by 12 and divide by 52.

Once you have worked out your employee’s average weekly earnings, you can calculate their SPP. SPP is payable weekly and lasts for 1 or 2 complete weeks (the 2 weeks must be consecutive.)

The employee should be paid the lower weekly rate of £148.68 or 90% of their average weekly earnings.

You can also calculate SPP by using the SPP Calculator on the website.

For the complete, in-depth guidelines on Statutory Paternity Pay entitlement, eligibility and exceptions, please visit the Gov website.

How We Can Help

If you’d rather spend time in your working day focusing on your clients and customers, find out more information about FMP Global outsourced payroll solutions. See how we could tailor a solution to ensure your employees are paid their Statutory Paternity Leave correctly and on time, whilst you get on with what you really want to focus on.

Quick Reference FAQs

Q. How much is Statutory Paternity Pay?

A. Whichever is lowest – Statutory Paternity Pay is £148.68 a week or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings.

Q. Is Additional Paternity Pay available?

A. The Additional Paternity Leave scheme was dissolved in 2015 and replaced by the Shared Parental Leave scheme.

Q. What is Shared Parental Leave?

A. If eligible, parents can apply for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) in which the mother and father can share up to 50 weeks of leave. 37 of these 50 weeks are paid at a rate of £148.68 per week or 90% of you weekly earnings – whichever is lower. Leave can be taken at the same time, or can be shared out to up to 3 blocks of leave each.

Q. How long is Paternity Leave?

A. 1 or 2 consecutive weeks to be taken after the child is born.

Q. What are an employee’s Paternity Rights?

A. An employee that is on paternity leave and receiving paternity pay has protected employment rights, including their right to accrued holiday, pay rises, and return to work.

Q. In what circumstances would an employee not qualify for SPP?

A. An employee would not qualify for SPP if they did not supply the correct notice (a minimum of 15 weeks prior to the week before the baby is due), if they have not worked for the employer for at least 26 weeks up until the qualifying week, if they resign before the baby is born/ adopted baby is placed with them, if they earn less than £118 a week or if they are not using their time off to look after their child and/or partner. They must be the Father, partner of the mother/adopter or the intended parent of the baby.