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Are fathers entitled to paternity leaves?

Very often working mothers are entitled to leaves in other for them to have their children and nurture them but does the man really matter in the issues of leaves.

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Paternity Leave
Paternity Leave

It is a great time for new mothers because this is the actual time they get to bond well with their young ones and get to build trust with the child as it’s new to this world. Most often fathers are left out of this exciting and most important times in a newborns life.

Paternity Leave
Paternity Leave
His only chance is after working hours where both father and baby are exhausted and drained. How then do they get to maximize all the tricks of the newborn, and be a part of this new introduction in his own house?

When we talk about parental leave we are talking about an employee benefit that provides for paid or unpaid time off work to care for a child or make arrangements for the child’s welfare. Parental Leave could refer to Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Leave.

I am laying emphasis on Paternity leaves in other to make the employer and employee see the beauty in a man being able to help out a wife with a newborn in its early life. Paternal leaves make ways to help fathers readily identify with the child and help women more with house burdens because they get to experience the beauty, difficulty and amazing tricks in a newborn’s phase.

A survey in a about ten kids proved that all children between the ages of six to fourteen with a number of eight out of the ten children preferred their mothers living and sound to their fathers, because it started out as the man is always mostly away from the house and the children’s tender brains could not appreciate the works of the fathers. Great mothers tend to explain to young ones the important of their fathers being mostly away but some mothers just leave the child to wonder in this question until they are able to figure it out at a later time. It is very necessary and important to start the bonding process for both parents at day one.

Looking at this system in Ghana, nurturing of babies has been seen, a woman’s duty and has been the practice in most homes, only a handful of men readily help in the care of a child at its first week of existence. The labour laws of Ghana specifically recognize Maternity Leave, but are silent on Paternity Leave. In law, the very fact that Maternity Leave is mentioned specifically means Paternity Leave is excluded specifically. Which should not be so because fathers also deserve to get the chance to sink into the system where the introduction of a newborn changes the affairs of things in a home.

In practice, some companies give paternity leave, but this is a private arrangement for their employees. When a family tragedy compels a man to take time off work to go and care for his child, it would more likely fall under “Compassionate Leave” e.g. where his wife has died. That is mostly the times you hear of fathers enjoying paternity leaves which should not be so, he also has the chance to enjoy the first week of the new baby’s life and help the healing mum go through postnatal changes. Enjoy the treat from nurses and midwives at the weighing centers and the pride that comes with holding your baby as the mother follows suit.

There may be grounds for saying that to the extent that the labours laws provide for maternity leave and exclude paternity leave in all cases, they are unconstitutional. It took two adults to produce the life it should also take those two to work hand in hand to help each other. Several mothers have recounted how much they longed for their husbands to have been around quenching their emotional thirsts and happiness but only to have them during weekends and at nights. An extra help outside parents or in-laws would be fulfilling if it was the husband they have said.

That is why I find it difficult to understand why in the unfortunate case of a woman losing her life in childbirth and the child surviving, the man should be able to access paternity leave.

It should be opened and awareness should be created so that fathers can enjoy this benefit too. A point of interest: it appears that maternity leave is available to only before, during and after childbirth and not generally for women who want to take time off to look after their children. I may propose that when a child is even dead at birth both parents should be given leaves in other to allow them heal both physically and internally and help them recover from the loss quickly. It will be a quickened healing process as a mother recognizes the father’s availability during their loss. This will help the ailing heart a lot and give both parents a chance to even try a replacement as early as possible if the wife cycle is ready for a new life again.

However, The Constitution Review Implementation Committee has proposed a statutory five day paternity leave for male workers. I will encourage men to make use of this benefit than ever and get the best they can get and give out of this five days. When maximized well it will go lengths to make a huge impact in your family. A day off can even grant an answer of the funny thought of getting back to bed even after 8am on a Monday morning and with this leave it can be possible. When implemented, fathers would be required to produce a medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner or midwife to testify that the wife has given indeed given birth. In this review the male worker will still be entitled to his salary, and there are also plans to extend the maternity leave from twelve weeks to sixteen weeks for mothers. After all, once your baby is born your life is forever changed.

Source: Akua Afedziwah Aidoo

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