Dads are parents too

Recently a father seeking help and more than just a few days with his soon- to-be newborn son came seeking help on our forums.
‘As a father to be, I'm a bit shocked and irritated at the pathetic excuse of a paternity leave policy our country has (there is none).’

Now surely a loving father just wants to spend some special time with his baby and wife after having waited 9 long months? There is more to the need for paternity leave than just taking some time off. The deep down bond between a parent and a child can only happen when time is spent together. According to the Department of Labour though, that is too much to ask. Right now there are no specified days for paternity leave.

A father’s rights?
There are a total of 3 days a year that all employees (male or female) are entitled to for things like the death of a family member etc. Unfortunately for fathers, this compassionate leave is to be used for when your baby is born too. Fathers are then forced to take annual leave if they would like to spend extra time with the new addition to the family.

Some companies won’t allow you to take all of your compassionate leave as a forum member found out. ‘I work for a Municipality and they provide 5 days family responsibility leave.  When my 3rd child was born I took 2 days. Now HR are arguing that I can only take the remaining 3 days if the child is sick (doctor's note needed).’

How about 2 weeks?
According to mother of 2 Kim, in her opinion even 2 weeks would be enough time for the father to bond with the newborn. “A mother has had 9 months to spend with the baby, but the only time a father can emotionally bond with the child is once it has been born.”

This dad agrees. ‘I took 5 days compassionate leave followed by 2 weeks annual leave. I felt that I had a responsibility as a husband and father that I needed spend more time tending to my wife and sons needs.’

Going the extra mile

Some parents go the extra mile, even if it means making sacrifices. ‘My husband was  adamant to be a part of our child's life from the word go. After doing our homework we decided that he would take a 2 year sabbatical from his career and spend the first 2 years of our child's life with him. It was the best decision we ever made.’

Paternity leave? Pshh!
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with fathers having paternity leave. ‘I think paternity leave is a rip-off just to not go to work and a feeble excuse. We brought up very disciplined children who are successful citizens and taxpayers without paternity leave. It is stupid for a newborn baby’s father to want to be at home for the baby. The mother is there!’

What are your thoughts on the paternity leave matter?
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