We all know bout maternity leave. It is a special benefit given to all pregnant ladies working in government or private sectors. This leave can be availed for a maximum of 26 weeks or 182 days. The concept of paternity leave is rather new. Not many of us know about such leave. Through this article lets discuss this special leave given to men.
Paternity leave and it’s importance
Raising a child after delivery has always been considered a women-only thing. In a joint family, there were many members to look after the child. However, as the families became nuclear, the responsibilities of the baby had to be shared by two- mother and father. When we talk about parenting, we don’t just talk about motherhood. We mean fatherhood too. After all, a father also becomes a parent. When a woman is expecting, she needs emotional support from the would-be father. The above-mentioned leave came into existence considering the importance of a father in child upbringing. The main purpose of this leave is to ensure that the father is present physically and emotionally, both for the mother and the child.
Paternity leave in India
India is a country that values relationships and families. Therefore, employers take into consideration the importance of such values. However, the concept of paternity leave in India is very new. People too are not aware of the same. But I feel, its more about the mindset of people. Some men who choose not to avail paternity benefits are the ones who have not been able to change their mindset. They still believe that raising a child is the whole sole responsibility of a woman. At the same time, progressive thinkers are promoting this leave concept because they know how crucial delivering a child can be. Also, they know their responsibility as a father and a husband. I am glad that the Central government has issued guidelines regarding paternity leave. However, many private players are still withering to take a decision. But awareness is spreading. Zomato food delivery service in India declaring paternity leave for its employees is a very good example of this.
Paternity leave rules
The Central Government of India has introduced the following provisions for paternity leave:
- applicable for a male Central Government employees
- who have less than two surviving children
- leave for a period of 15 days, extendable to 3 months in special cases
- flexibility to avail the leave 15 days before, or within 6 months to 1 year, from the birth of the child.
- If such leave is not availed, it will be treated as invalid.
- leave will be paid.
My husband works in a public sector company in India. We got lucky that paternity leave got introduced in this company very recently. It was a leave of 23 days. He had an option to take leave before or after the delivery. There was also an option to avail the leave at once. During my delivery, I got very sick and my daughter was born 26 days before the date given to us. So my husband decided to be with us for a full 23 days and take care of us both. During this leave, he developed a very strong bond with our daughter.