Sweden decides to extend its paternity leave
Sweden has proposed a third month of paternity leave for fathers, as of 2016. This move comes as a way of bringing about gender equality. Till now, a 16 month parental leave was the norm, with 2 months being set aside only for fathers. The first month of paid parental leave was introduced in 1995 and in 2002, it was lengthened to 2 months.
No paid paternity leave in America
In the United States, paid maternity/ paternity leave is not mandatory. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) gives a 12 week yearly unpaid leave for certain medical reasons to the employees. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if an employer decides to give paid maternity leave for pregnancy, it must offer that same leave to fathers.
European Union offers the highest paternity leaves
Central European government has popularised paternity leave by offering cash bonuses or extra leave of days for fathers. There is an equal number of leaves for men and women in the Czech Republic. There is an increase of 14% in the number of men availing paternity leave between 2001-2013. A total of 14 weeks of paternity leave was given by the Norwegian government.
India and China’s ungenerous attitude towards fathers
In India, the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 doles out a 12 weeks paid leave for women and a 15 day paternity leave for men. However, this provision is strictly for central government employees. Most of the non-government companies have no such rule. Interestingly, even China though generous with maternity leaves, gives no paid leaves to the father.
Countries with the worst maternity leave policy
Liberia, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the United States are the only 4 countries in the world with no required paid maternity leave.
25 days of paternal leave for English Daddys
On 6 April 2015, UK ruled for a 50 week shared parental leave for couples in England. This can be divided between the couple as per their needs. This legislation will benefit as many as 285,000 couples yearly. In addition, an additional 18 weeks of unpaid leave is also allowed for people with children below the age of 18.
Sweden paves way for stay-at-home dads
Interestingly, Sweden was the first country in the world to have introduced a paid parental leave allowance without any gender bias.