21st June marks Father’s Day and people all over the world are going to be celebrating the bond they share with their dads. In the same vein, times have changed and many countries have introduced ‘paternity benefits’ for new dads. Let’s take a look at the different systems that have been adopted worldwide:

1. There are 96 countries around the world which have compulsory paid leave for new fathers which is reserved for men or a system which allows the couple to share the leave.

2. In Norway, new fathers are entitled to 2 weeks of paid leave when the baby is born and have to take a mandatory of 14 weeks worth of paid leave before the child turns 3 years.

3. In the United Kingdom, the father is eligible for 1 or 2 weeks paid paternity leave and 26 additional weeks if the mother decides to return to work.

4. In United States, there is no paternity leave or even maternity leave as dictated by the government. It depends on the company.

5. Australia allows 2 weeks of paternity leave at National Minimum Wage and new parents get to share 52 weeks of unpaid leave.

6. Malaysia does not have a system of paternity leave but male civil servants in the country can take upto 14 days.

7. Paternity leave in India is sanctioned for government employees with less than 2 surviving children for a period of 15 days. However, there is no rule as such for private companies.

8. Male employees of Public Sector Undertaking (Nationalised) banks in India have recently been given 15 days of paid leave which can be availed 15 days prior or after the birth of their child.

Some companies in India have started looking at paternity benefits as a necessity and offer various packages for expecting or new fathers. Many consultants for companies also view this as a necessary step to not only strengthen the bond between children and their fathers, but also to help bring about equality in the workspace.

India might have a more accommodating policy on paternity benefits compared to other countries - however, many sectors in the space of domestic work, agriculture, small and large scale factories within the country are still struggling to even provide maternity benefits for mothers-to-be, which is a direct violation of the Maternity Benefit Act 1961.

The need for a work culture that is more mom-friendly is also raised in our Power of 49 manifesto that sought the “Provision of mandatory creches and women-friendly maternity policies that include long-term leave-both rural and urban.” In a country as diverse as ours, what do you think can be done to make this a reality? Share your views in your comments below:


International Labour Organization

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