Do paternity rights only apply to men in married couples?

No. Although this leave and pay is called ‘Statutory Paternity Leave’ and ‘Statutory Paternity Pay’, it is not exclusively for married men. Paternity leave and pay can be claimed by one of the people within any couple, whether heterosexual or same-sex and whether married, in a civil partnership or co-habiting. In other words, where one person in the couple is giving birth to or adopting the child, paternity leave and pay may be due to the other.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.