The term paternity leave may or may not include maternity, paternity, parental, or adoption leave depending upon the country. Paternity leave is a father’s version of maternity leave. These types of leaves are important for an employee to fulfill their parental duties. Paternity leave is one of the hottest topics in the HR domain but what exactly is paternity leave?
What are Paternity Leaves?
Paternity leave or parental leave is a privilege given to the father, husband of a pregnant woman, a surrogate parent, a parent who is adopting a child that has been matched by the adoption agency. Paternity leave is a basic right that is family-friendly and crops up in every organization. Working dads look forward to more time to bond with their newborn or take care of the house.
Paternity leave is the right of a father. This leave should be used within 56 days of the birth of the child once the father takes it. During these days, the pay and all the benefits are given to the employee normally. Introducing the concept of a paternity leave policy will help the managers and staff of an organization to understand the rights of paternity leaves.
Why are Paternity Leaves Important?
Welcoming a new child into the family is always a special and cherishable moment for parents. Paternity leave is not greatly given by many organizations. It is rare for men to be offered paid leave than women. Research shows that paternity leaves can lead to more bonding in a family with a high satisfaction rate and increased engagement in the work. Research also shows that companies that offer paternity leave indirectly encourage the new dads to break the traditional gender stereotypes and motivates them to help their partners with the baby. However, as men are generally the main bread-earner in the family, their ability to earn paternity leave is limited because it is usually unpaid.
Reasons as to why Paternity Leaves are Important
A feeling of job satisfaction
All the employees of an organization should enjoy their work every day and should not be stressed about the workload or deadlines that they need to meet. A paternity leave policy will make them feel fulfilled and satisfied with their job and therefore the mental and physical wellbeing of an individual is achieved. Both mother and father must have an equal opportunity to bond and spend time with their newborns.
It helps in laying the foundation for co-parenting and family stability
Reports show that paternity leave or parental leave helps in building a better relationship between the partners. This has, in turn, resulted in increased marital stability. Sharing parental responsibility lets the partners support each other while growing the child.
Helping Achieve Gender Balance
Co-parenting can help in achieving gender equality and empowering women by helping and sharing childcare responsibility which is very important. Offering equal parental leave helps in promoting gender equality in the workplace. Also, it allows in breaking down the traditional gender stereotypes, an expectation in society, and benefits the family.
Children’s mental and physical state of mind improves with co-parenting.
When fathers engage, interact, and spend time with their children, then their children have better development in terms of both mental and physical state of mind. Also, research says that longer paternity leaves and an increase in the time spent by fathers in taking care of their children also result in a higher cognitive test score of their children. This is one important benefit of why an organization should include paternity leaves.
When fathers take leave, it can increase the employment opportunities for the mothers:
When fathers take paternity leave or parental leave, it will increase the ability of their partners or mother of the child, which will, in turn, have a positive effect on female labor force participation and an increase in wages. Mothers increase their level of full-time work when fathers take parental leave. This increase in work by the mothers brings in more income & in the end is good for the whole family.
To conclude, companies must include paternity leave in their leave policy to make the fathers feel included in the growth of their children which will thus, result in breaking the gender stereotypes and traditional norms, household and work responsibilities that are already existing, and this can ultimately contribute in achieving sustainable development. Organizations should encourage their men’s staff members to apply for parental leave and share the responsibility of childcare.