Wayne Rooney and His Paternity Rights

The HR Headmistress is not well versed in the ways of football, so it came a something of a surprise to hear yesterday that Wayne and Coleen Rooney were celebrated the birth of their newborn son, Kai Wayne Rooney.

Kai was born at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, weighing in at a healthy 8lbs, 2oz. Wayne Rooney was present at the birth, having remained with his wife at the hospital since their arrival at 10pm on Sunday.

So will Rooney, England's leading striker, take his paternity leave? It’s an interesting questions because six years after the right to take paternity leave was introduced, almost half of all new fathers fail to take their two week entitlement. Most employees who are the father of a child or its mother's husband/partner, and who expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing, will qualify for paternity leave.

Most employees are also entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) from their employers, and they also have the right to return to the same job after paternity leave. Employees can choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paid paternity leave (but not odd days).

Paternity leave must be taken 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. Currently, Stautory Paternity Pay is paid at the weekly rate of £123.06. One wonders how this will go down with £110,000 a week player Rooney.

Ministers announced plans earlier this year for an extension of parental leave. From 2012, fathers will be entitled to the second six months of their partner’s maternity leave as long as the child’s mother goes back to work after the first six months.

Experts have questioned extending the rights of fathers if they are not making use of the ones they already have.

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