In Brief

Paternity pay in the dock

Employment tribunal to rule whether firms must pay new fathers and mothers equally

Fathers on paternity leave could soon be granted the same rights and pay as mothers, depending on the outcome of a case currently being heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

 The support services firm Capita is appealing against a judicial ruling that it failed to give Madasar Ali, a call centre worker, full paternity leave rights. Ali said he was discriminated against when he was offered just two weeks’ pay - a woman would be paid for 14.

The BBC’s legal correspondent Clive Coleman says the outcome of the appeal will be binding for similar cases in the future.

Under rules brought in in 2015, couples can share up to 37 weeks of paid leave, so long as they meet certain criteria.

Shared parental leave pay is £140.98 a week or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. However, employment lawyer Lindsey Bell told BBC Breakfast that companies were giving women “enhanced maternity leave over and above” what they are required to give - but not doing the same for men.

Figures obtained from HMRC by BBC Wales showed 6,100 fathers and 542,850 mothers in England received a statutory payment to take time off work with their children in 2016 to 2017.

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