In this article, you’ll know the Paternity Leave definition, its entitlement, and how to get paid for it. Moreover, we will look at what employers need to do to help their employees get the most out of this leave.
These are important questions for employers to consider before establishing family-friendly policies. If you’re thinking of taking paternity leave, then before moving ahead, you should know a few things like eligibility, scheduling, payment-related facts, and so on.
Did you Know?
Japan offers 12 weeks of paid leave, which is roughly equivalent to maternity leave. The Japanese social security system pays a paternity leave allowance, but uptake is low, with many employers unwilling to allow their employees time off. The main reasons for not taking leave are understaffing, workload, pay loss, and career impediments.
Also Read: Leave Management Guide for HR Managers
What is Paternity Leave?
If you're the primary breadwinner, you'll want to consider taking some time off from work. While some paternity leave is unpaid, some are paid. In most cases, paternity leave is not a viable option unless you can afford it. There are other ways to take time off that will benefit everyone. Telecommuting may be an option for some people. Paternity leave is one of the various types of leaves in India.
In some companies, employers are required to give eligible workers up to eight weeks of paid leave. Some laws offer up to 16 weeks of job protection in some places but only require companies to pay eight weeks.
Employers must pay employees up to 90% of their wages during this time, while self-employed workers may opt for the same rate. While some states and cities have similar laws, the best way to find out whether your company offers paid leave for new fathers is to consult your policy.
In most countries, the time required for paternity leave varies, but it is typically at least four weeks. Some companies pay a full salary for employees taking paternity leave. However, it's common for employees to take unpaid leave in other countries.
Depending on your jurisdiction, you may have to provide proof of pregnancy or adoption to qualify. Besides that, some employers also pay the difference between an employee's paternity leave allowance and their usual salary.
Eligibility for Paternity Leave
Now that you know what is parental leave let’s know the eligibility. There’s no universal law for paternity in India, but you need to be eligible in a few ways.
If you have recently given birth to a child, you may be wondering if you are eligible to take paternity leave. The good news is that you can! Here is what you need to do:
- You should request the leave as early as three weeks before the expected due date.
- You can submit the relevant formal documents to prove your eligibility.
- Once you've submitted the documents, HR will determine whether you're eligible and how long you can take off. If your child is born early, it is important to inform HR immediately.
- If you're eligible for paternity leave, you'll likely be entitled to statutory paternity pay. This money is provided to eligible employees, and leave encashment is not available on paternity leaves.
- You must have worked for a given number of months in a row or completed a minimum number of hours working in the company. These numbers vary from company to company.
- You'll want to be careful not to take any other employment during your paternity leave.
Entitlement for Paternity Leave
- The first step in claiming entitlement to paternity leave is to notify your employer. It should have a policy on paternity leave. If you haven't yet requested it, you will have to do so within four weeks.
- You will also have to provide a medical certificate from your partner and proof of placement. Your employer will likely want to see a copy of this certificate. They may ask for more information in some cases, so make sure you have all of the information on hand.
- Many companies offer some kind of paid paternity leave, but the duration varies.
- Paternity leave is available to any employee who has been a partner in a relationship for at least a year.
- This leave cannot start before the baby is born, and must be completed within a fixed number of days (as per your company’s rules) of the baby's birth.
- If the baby were born early, paternity leave would be taken after the due date.
- If there are multiple births, you can only take one paternity leave period.
Private Sector Employees And Their Families: Paternity Leave
Let’s start with knowing the meaning of parental leave. It is a requirement by the government for employees, but no law requires private sector companies to offer paternity leave for their employees.
This leaves paternity leave subject to explain the individuals within their businesses. Certain of the largest multinational companies have made steps to implement paternity leave as part of the HR policy of their company. A few of them include -
Tips for Scheduling Paternity Leave
Paternity leave is basically a leave that employees often take when the birth of a child takes place in their life. India is among the nations that currently do not provide paternity leave for private-sector workers.
However, certain government employees can apply for paternity leave for up to 15 days. The rules for this type of leave could differ from company to company. Therefore, we recommend you consult with your business's Human Resources department to find out any rules. You must do it before making an application for this kind of leave.
- Start planning early: To benefit your home and office, you must decide the time and date when paternity leave you will take. This allows everyone to have time to ensure it's done.
- Family Medical Leave Act: FMLA provides 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave. However, it is only available to businesses with over 50 employees.
- Start saving early: Consider an early savings fund during pregnancy. Also, think about short-term disability in the scenario that the entire or a part of the leave is not paid.
- Show loyalty: It's tempting to return to show your loyalty and commitment whenever you can. But a father's primary loyalty is his children. If your employer offers time off, make use of it.
Returning to Work - Tips to Return Comfortably
It can be difficult to go back to work following your parental leave. You've been away for weeks or even months and have become a completely different person with different priorities and interests.
Allow for Time to Adjust
If your employer is willing to allow it, you can gradually get permission to return to your regular workplace. In the beginning, attending work for a few days per week and working at home on the other days can give you the chance to get used to the various workplaces.
Make Your Routine More Flexible
The commute you'll have to add to your workday will take longer than getting to work, which means you have to set the alarm earlier.
Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Everybody's return from work appears different for different companies, and they are looking at various policies. You may be left with lots of questions. Prior to returning to your workplace, be sure that you've discussed your concerns with your boss.
Find New Ways to Work
The work environment post-COVID-19 is much more flexible. It is worth working earlier to avoid traffic during rush hour or trying hybrid working if your company's policies allow it.
Don’t Overlook Online Tools
If you've switched to more online tools for collaboration in the course of the pandemic, you should continue working with them.
Also Read: What is PTO? Definition, Types and Tips
What is the Paternity Benefit Bill, 2017?
Following the Maternity Benefit Act 2017’s introduction, Rajeev Satav suggested a Bill for Paternity Benefit in September (2017) in the Lok Sabha to secure the rights of paternity for working men. The major points of this bill are mentioned below:
It applies to all cities of India. Also, this Act applies to every single establishment, such as plantations, factories, mines, and so on, whether they are part of either the Indian Government or private enterprises. The Act covers all government/remote sector employees, involving those who work for themselves or work in an unpermitted industry in which lower than 10 people are employed.
Each employee can get the paternity advantage at a similar rate as the average daily wages payable to him on the days he worked or at the minimum pay fixed or modified by the Minimum Wages Act (1948).
3. Working Time
A man is qualified for the benefit when he worked for the place from which he is claiming paternity benefits for some time of approximately eighty days during these 12 months preceding the date of birth of the child. The eligibility period of 80 days does not apply to a person whose housewife was pregnant when he immigrated into the state.
4. Time of Leave
Anyone with lower than two children will be authorised to get paternity benefits for 15 days. It is granted up to three months after the date of the child's birth. The Act also contains the provisions for special cases as well.
5. Parental Scheme Benefit Fund
In this plan, the government would establish a Fund named the Parental Benefit Scheme Fund to cover the requirements to provide paternity advantages. Every employee (irrespective the gender), government official, and the employer would take part in the Fund in the proportions that can be established. The Fund is then used to cover the expenses associated with paternity benefits under the Act.
6. No dismissal
If a person takes leave according to this Act’s rules and is considered unlawful for the employer to dismiss or terminate him from a workplace in the course of the absence. Also, issuing a notice of dismissal or demotion when a notice is due to expire will be a violation of the act.
7. Incompleteness of Benefit
If the employer does not pay any paternity benefits to men who are entitled to this Act, they are punished by prison. Also, it will be about 3 months, which may be extended up to 1-year, and a penalty ranging from ₹20,000 - ₹50,000.
8. Advance payment of Salary
The amount of paternity benefits during the time preceding the expected birth date of the baby to the man is prepaid by the employer once the employee presents evidence that the wife has been expecting the birth of a baby. The balance to be paid for the next period must be paid at the time of forty-eight hours of the proof being presented.
Some companies choose to offer more flexibility concerning how long and when their employees are eligible to take paternity leave. It’s always good to discuss with HR regarding paternity leaves before joining the company.