As we all know, a pregnant woman has a due date. Suppose that the due date for my wife is March 5, and my company allows a generous paternity leave policy of 3 months (for both mom & dad). Can I schedule my paternity leave ahead of time?

I.E can I say that "I will take off from March 3 to assist wife and resume work April 10" ?

Or do I wait until the physical birth happens, then schedule the leave? What is the most prudent, to avoid any issues? The concern is that the child may be late to arrive, in which case I per-emptively took extra leave. At the same time, I want to have transparency to my manager about when I'll be gone and when I'll be back.

  • ..is this too specific? honestly wanted to know what average paternity leave at big Co's is Jan 24, 2020 at 18:15
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    Babies can arrive 30 days early or 30 days late... This must be your first.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 24, 2020 at 18:26
  • 4
    Also: country tag? That varies substantially by location.
    – msanford
    Jan 24, 2020 at 18:37
  • @SolarMike - that's true : ) Jan 24, 2020 at 18:47
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    Did you already discuss this with your manager? There might be well-defined rules in your company. You could maybe ask colleagues about how this is usually handled. Anyway there's a big chance a company giving 3 months off to a father will be quite flexible and understanding with your own preferences.
    – Laurent S.
    Jan 24, 2020 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Schedule a general range and get agreement that it triggers at the birth of your child

One member of my team is on paternity leave. He just informed our manager of the expected due date. I suppose tt depends on your job, but in our case, moving things by a few days had no meaningful business impact so that was sufficient. His child was born before the due date and that is when things started.

Specific policies are company dependent, but it is generally accepted that babies don't really follow schedules well.

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    To add to this, in the last month you should treat your work tasks like you could be leaving that day. Try to avoid "only I can do it" sort of projects that take multiple weeks to do.
    – Chad
    Jan 24, 2020 at 18:39
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    @Chad yeah, this makes approval easier for managers. +1 Jan 24, 2020 at 18:40
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    You may consider noting that most companies do not allow you to take any days before the child is born (because they are covering your leave with an insurance policy they purchase, not unlike other forms of paid leave).
    – dbeer
    Jan 24, 2020 at 19:44
  • @dbeer also worth noting that although this is true the company may allow him to take some unpaid leave for the extra 2 days or use his usual holiday allowance to cover it
    – Gamora
    Jan 29, 2020 at 13:07

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