Hi, hoping someone could cast their eyes over this and give their opinion. My wife is due to give birth in just under a week's time and I've applied for Paternity Leave to commence when the baby's born. Obviously, I want to be there to support her during labour and childbirth. I've looked into my entitlement and the T&C on the LEA's website say: 4. Maternity Support Leave Five days paid leave is allowed for the child’s father or the partner or nominated carer of an expectant mother to coincide with the birth of a child. The leave should be taken immediately prior to, during, or after the period of confinement. 5. Maternity Support Leave/Paternity Leave There is a statutory right to two weeks paternity leave paid at the same rate of pay as Statutory Maternity Pay, however the council allows the first week to be paid at full pay under Maternity Support Arrangements. Now, according to the wording, I see this gives me 3 options. 1) To opt out of Paternity Leave and still qualify for 5 days fully paid leave to support childbirth 2) To take 2 weeks Paternity Leave at the rate of 5 days at full pay (under Maternity Support Arrangements) plus a second week at Statutory Maternity Pay 3) To take 5 days Maternity Support Leave at full pay, and then 2 weeks' Paternity Leave at SMP I'd choose the third option as this gives me a 5 days to support my wife in the early stages of labour and then at the hospital immediately before, during and after birth, and then two weeks to support her and spend time as a brand new family at home. My HT has told me though that this isn't possible, that options 1 and 2 only are possible. My issues with this though are that if labour and childbirth take up to a week (which they frequently do, I believe!), then I'll get just a week at home. This doesn't seem right. You can have a week off if you don't take your entitled Paternity Leave but if you do choose to take it then you lose your initial week off. The money isn't even the issue - I'd take 3 weeks at SMP if I had to - but it feels like it's making it very difficult to do what I'd like to do to support my wife. Any views on this, or any experience? Many thanks.