It was a good first step in thinking about, legislating and implementing Maternity Leave for women. That has helped to bring in a sense of acknowledgement to the fact that women should have the proper support so that they can build successful careers. The next step is really to enable men to be part of the childcare process and be part of that support system. The initial few months of the newborn are very stressful and expecting the mother alone to deal with it is unfair. As more and more families become nuclear, extended family support is reducing. It is time for men to step up and share the challenges of caring for the newborn. This is where paternity leave helps.
Paternity leave is a period of paid leave where the father of the newborn can spend quality time sharing the responsibilities and building the bond with the child and family is required.
Currently, there are no laws in India mandating such leave except in government service. However, many private establishments see the value in providing paternity leave.
It is common now that both parents work and are eager to make a mark for themselves. If there is a right opportunity, they need to move to a new location. Nuclear families have become a necessity due to these reasons. Apart from this, Indian men too have come to understand the difficulties women go through and are willing to take ownership even if they are not a nuclear family. All these changes mean that both parents should partner in raising the newborn. Paternity leave will help the father to be part of the process.
There are an endless number of things that need to be done after the child is born. It is a lot of hard work and sometimes stressful too to the mother. It is imperative that men share the responsibilities of childcare. If they can take some time off from work, it helps them to actively contribute and share the responsibilities with their wife.
Things have changed for the better with respect to the understanding of equality that has no bearing on gender. It is the responsibility of individuals, establishments and societies to enable the right conditions for everyone to feel equal to others and flourish in their own chosen fields. Taking paternity leave and participating in childcare will definitely provide a new appreciation of gender equality.
Spending quality time with the newborn, wife and other family members while on paid leave has its many advantages. The main one, definitely, is the intangible but lasting bond with the child.
Observing own child’s early days and months of growing up puts life back on the pedestal. Taking time off from work to do so will restore work-life balance.
Employers will benefit from highly motivated employees when they return back from their paternity leave.
Since there are no governing laws, every organisation makes its own as part of the general leave policy covering all available leave benefits to their employees. Taking a cue from the Central Services (leave) Rules of 1972, many companies require that the employee applying for paternity leave has worked for a minimum of eighty days in the preceding year and that they provide proof of their wife giving birth. Usually, the employee is expected to discuss with his manager and plan for the leave. The period of paternity leave will be as defined in the company policy and varies from 15 days to 6 weeks or more. This leave can be availed by eligible employees within six months of the cold being born.
Companies that use a leave management system will have paternity leave as one of the options to select from while applying for leave. As a working professional, paternity leave is advised that the employee discusses with his direct manager about his plan to go on leave. This will help the manager and the rest of the team plan ahead to cover for his absence. If the company is too small to implement a software system, a leave request letter addressing the manager can be sent via email.
Paternity leave is definitely catching up in India and many organisations encourage employees whose wife has given birth to take the time off and attend to their loved ones. This is a great period for father and child bonding helping in the child’s development. This encourages gender equality in society. Employees who enjoy a great work-life balance because of such paid leaves will return to work rejuvenated and motivated helping organisations to perform better.
Paternity leave is a paid time off period, usually around 15 days or more, to an employee whose wife has given birth recently.
There are no specific laws as yet governing paternity leave. There were attempts in the past to introduce the bill in the parliament after the last Maternity Leave (Amendment) Act of 2017. Unfortunately, the process has not come to a closure and no act came into force.
You should refer to HR policies related to leaves and benefits. You can contact your company’s HR if there are no documents available or you are unable to find relating to paternity leave.
Refer to the HR documents on the leave policy. Most organisations expect that you have worked at the organisation for a considerable period of time before the birth of the child. In general, companies have a guideline that you have worked for eighty days or more preceding the date the child is born.
This thinking is substantially changed in India. Men think, as the father of the child, it is also their responsibility to look after the welfare of the mother and child. They understand that bonding with the newborn has long-term benefits in terms of the child’s positive development.
It is not mandatory. Some companies may not even have this benefit in their policies. But, keeping the changing times in view both men and companies recognise the importance of paternity leave and the long-term benefits it has on organisations and societies.
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