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Though the Maternity benefits are significantly familiar to all of us, concentrating on the role of both partners in child care, there is a private member’s bill that proposes a paternity leave of up to three months. The Paternity Benefit Bill is said to benefit new fathers across all sectors and according to Congress MP, Mr. Rajeev Satav (the backer of the Bill), the Bill would benefit more than 32 crore men in the private and unorganised sector, especially those doing blue collar jobs.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 provides for twenty six weeks of maternity leave and other associated benefits. However, there is no PAN-India legislation that provides for paternity leave. An absence of paternity leave implies that child care is the responsibility of only the mother. A paternity leave policy can also help in incremental attitudinal changes and to remove gender role distinctions.

Since, there is no governing law with respect to this leave , employers offer their own policies to its male employees. However, “The Paternity Benefit Bill, 2017”, which if passed in the next session of parliament, would impose a legit requirement on all the employers with respect to this leave.

Following is the brief snippet of this most anticipated bill:

  • Relevance of Paternity Leave :
    • The bond with the mother and baby is established even before birth, nevertheless, recent research has proved the bond with the father and baby will be established and become stronger based on their connection during the initial days as a resultant of hormonal reactions linked to parenting behaviour.
    • Also another research suggests that the sooner the father starts bonding with the baby, the brighter the future for the new born in terms of physical and mental development
    • Thus, it is clear that the initial bond with the baby is very critical and thus Paternity Leave turns out to be the basic requirement for parenthood.
  • Present Situation of Paternity Leave in India
    • At present, the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972- 13018/2/98-Estt (L) 16/07/1999 allows a Male government employee a paternity leave of 15 days
    • Various corporate offices, voluntarily, as a company policy give paternity benefits to their employees varying from 1 week to 2 weeks
  • Objective of Paternity Bill
    • “Child care is the joint responsibility of both parents. They must devote time to the newborn to ensure its proper well-being,” said Mr. Satav
  • Target Audience
    • to every shop or establishment where >= ten persons are/were employed,
    • to every man who is self-employed or working in the unorganised sector or in establishments where < ten persons are employed
  • Proposed Duration of Paternity Bill
    • The duration is for a maximum period is 15 (fifteen) days which includes Saturday and Sundays.  So ideally, 15 continuous days which can be availed as follows
      • 15 days from the date of delivery
      • Employee can opt for 7 (Seven) days of leave prior to the date of expected delivery and the balance of 15 days post delivery
      • Any other days , within a period of three months from the date of delivery of child (i.e. Maximum tenure to utilise the paternity leave is three months)
    • Maximum for two children
    • Leave means paid leave
    • Eligibility for a new employee in the organization – Need to be working for eighty days or more in the organization to be eligible
  • Legal Actions on deprivation of such leave
    • If you are deprived of such leave, an appeal can be made to the concerned authority and if the employer is found guilty, could be punishable with
      • imprisonment up to one year or
      • fine up to fifty thousand rupees or
      • both
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Walker Loesche
4 years ago

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George Trevathan
4 years ago

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