Despite his wife death during childbirth a Nottinghamshire father is ineligible for paternity leave. Following his wife’s death during childbirth, a Nottinghamshire father is calling for a change in the law after being told he was not entitled to share parental leave.
Bernadette Horsey, Aaron Horsey’s wife, died in January while undergoing a C-Section at the Royal Derby Hospital.
Their son arrived safely, but Aaron, who lives in Beeston, had changed jobs to work more remotely before the birth.
He later discovered that he was not entitled to paternity leave because he had not worked for nine months.
To be eligible for paternity leave, a father must have worked at the same place of employment for 26 weeks, even if the due date is still 15 weeks away.
There is no provision in the law for when a mother dies during childbirth.
Mr. Horsey told ITV News Central he was “surprised” by the legal loophole.
“There was nothing to replace that in the case of bereavement,” he said, adding, “It was not the best time to find out just after having lost your wife and gaining a lovely baby.”
“The last thing anyone should be concerned about is whether they have the time to care for a newborn.”
Darren Henry, his local MP, has taken up the issue and raised it in parliament.
Mr. Henry, the Broxtowe Tory MP, asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak if he would be willing to meet with relevant ministers.
Mr. Sunak responded by sending Mr. Horsey his condolences on the loss of his wife – and it remains to be seen whether action will be taken on the issue ten months after Bernadette’s death.
What is the legal status of shared parental leave?
Parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay, or they can take more flexible leave and pay.
Up to 37 weeks of shared parental pay are available for parents to split at the lower of the statutorily prescribed rate, which is currently £156.66 per week (as of 6 April 2022), or 90% of the relevant parent’s normal weekly earnings.
The remaining 13 weeks of the sabbatical are unpaid.
What is the average amount of paternity leave?
According to the government’s website, new fathers have the right to up to two weeks of paid paternity leave, which means their employers must pay them during this time, their rights are protected, and the time off does not count as vacation.
You must, however, give proper notice, which means informing your employer of the amount of time off you require at least 15 weeks before the baby’s due date.
In addition, you must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks prior to taking the leave.