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By George – I Think She’s Had It! News of a Prince Born in The 24/7 Era

The birth of a baby in a royal family has always generated global interest. It’s no different in our 24/7 era, just a bit more frantic So when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the birth of their first-born last week, in some ways it was predictable that the team at Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) quickly turned to Twitter to send out the word to well-wishers everywhere.

The first confirmation that a royal arrival was imminent came at 7:37am when the couple’s official Twitter account @ClarenceHouse tweeted: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour.

The scale of this event was immediately apparent. Since that announcement, there have been more than two million mentions of the news on Twitter, with well-wishers gathering around hashtags including #RoyalBaby, #RoyalBabyBoy and #RoyalBabyWatch. The peak in conversation on Twitter about the news came at 8:37pm in the minutes following the announcement of the baby’s birth, with more than 25,300 Tweets per minute.

As royal-watchers all over came together to share their excitement, the hashtag #RoyalBaby became the gathering place for messages of congratulations. Since the Duchess was admitted to hospital, that hashtag alone has been used more than 900,000 times on Twitter. Mind boggling. Interestingly they say that William and Kate are keen to give their family as much of a normal life as they can - I’m not sure most mothers would be keen for their labour to be announced and updated on twitter so much. Let’s hope the press and the Twittersphere leave them alone to bond with their new baby like most normal parents do.

Wills like most new fathers, is on official paternity leave for the first two weeks, He will have to take his paternity leave within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child, or if the child is born early, within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the week in which the birth was expected.

The arrival of baby George made me wonder if all those other new and expectant fathers out there may want a quick refresher on paternity leave at the time the baby is born. To qualify you will have to be an employee and worked continuously for your employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due, or the end of the week in which the child's adopter is notified of being matched with the child.

Paternity leave is available to employees who:

  • have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing
  • is the biological father of the child or the mother's husband or partner (including same sex relationships) and
  • have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due or the end of the week in which the child's adopter is notified of being matched with the child.

Those who are eligible can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paid paternity leave (not odd days). Employees may be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay which from April 2013 was £136.78 per week or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings, if that is less. Employers may, however, give more and this and may form part of your terms and conditions of employment.

If you know anyone who would like some help with employment rights in the workplace (or any other HR query) email us or call 0845 644 8955.

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