The recent amendments in the Maternity Benefits Act in India have started discussion about the need to introduce a law for paternity act as well. There is a lot of confusion regarding what paternity leave is basically because the concept was not popular in India until a few years ago. We, at Morph Maternity, have compiled facts and figures on the paternity leave to help you decide what is best for you.
What is paternity leave?
Paternity leave is the time a father takes off from work upon the birth of his child. The period of the leave and the nature, whether paid or unpaid, differs from place to place.
What countries have a paternity leave policy?
Almost all countries have a paternity leave policy; for example –
- Norway – The country offers equal parental leave (maternity and paternity leave) of 46 weeks at full pay or 56 weeks at 80% pay.
- Spain – Fathers are entitled to 30 days of paid leave from work, in all sectors.
- Iceland – Mandatory leave of 3 months is given to fathers at 80% pay; they can further extend the leave for 3 months i.e. a total of 6 months of paternity leave.
Does India recognize paternity leave?
India, as of December’17, doesn’t have a law in place for paternity leave unlike the Maternity Benefits Act, though; certain members of Parliament are championing a Paternity Benefits Act. Hence, currently all private firms have their own rules and regulations; most companies offer some kind of paternity leave. The government employees are allocated 15 days of paternity leave which is extended to cases of adoption as well.
Why paternity leave is required?
Paternity leave helps the fathers in bonding with the baby; this time can also be used to help your partner as she would be recovering from all the changes in her body; it is especially beneficial is you and your spouse don’t have any help from a family member.
How to make the best use of your paternity leave?
Dads can utilise their paternity leave by –
- Bond with the child; play, interact, take care of its needs or simply be with the baby and overtime you both will develop a deep bond.
- The mother requires, and would certainly appreciate, any kind of help that she can get in taking care of the baby, her own health and the house at the same time.
- The baby will need to be fed several times a day, even at odd hours; the father can help the mother in holding the baby, providing emotional support or anything that she requires. Check out Morph Maternity’s range of breastfeeding pillows that would be of great support for your partner.
Raising a baby is the joint responsibility of both the mother and the father; paternity leave ensures that the father also gets an opportunity at being an integral part of the baby’s early years.