Paternity Leave Benefits in India
According to the UNICEF report, 90 million tiny humans, as soon as they are born, don’t avail the presence of their fathers to spend time with them.
Child care is the joint responsibility of both parents. They must devote time to the newborn to ensure its proper well-being, said by Congress Member of Parliament from Maharashtra, Rajeev Satav, the backer of the bill, says in a report in Business Today
Earlier this year, UNICEF modernized its approach to parental leave provisions, with up to 16 weeks of paid leave for paternity across all of its offices worldwide- the first United Nations agency to extend such leave beyond the standard four weeks.
UNICEF: Paternity Leaves
Four weeks of paternity leaves were paid to UNICEF male employees, but now all of its offices around the globe have been extended to 16 weeks. Unicef is the first agency to extend such leave beyond four weeks with this modernization approach. This step was taken to provide fathers and their children with sufficient time.
- In addition, UNICEF proposed an international 16-week paid paternity leave, which lasted four weeks earlier.
- This allows new children’s fathers to connect with their children and promote better connections.
- UNICEF was the first UN agency to extend such leave over the four weeks standard.
Paternity Leave In India for Civil Servants
There are certain provisions on the benefit of paternity leave for employees working in the government sector. In 1999 by notice pursuant to Rule 551(A) of the Central Government, paternity leave was provided for–
- For an employee(male) of the central government( including an apprentice)
- Fewer than two children surviving
- For 15 days for his wife and newborn child to be taken care of.
- This leave may be used 15 days prior to or within 6 months of the date of the child’s delivery.
- In the absence of such a break, this break granted must be dealt with as lapse.
- He should be paid the same amount of salary as before.
Paternity Leave in Private Schools
In Chander Mohan Jain v. N.K Bagrodia Public School (2009) , Chander Mohan Jain, a private school teacher, moved to the Delhi High Court to challenge N K Bagrodia Public School ‘s refusal of his paternity leave application and deduction of his salary for taking leave to take care of his wife and the newly born child. Despite the lack of legislation, the New Delhi High Court held in this case that all male employees of unassisted private schools had the right to paternity leave. The court then ordered the school to reimburse Chander Mohan Jain the deducted amount. Therefore, provide relief to teachers in the private sector.
Paternity Benefit Bill, 2017
Following the introduction of the Maternity Benefit Act, 2017, Rajeev Satav proposed a Paternity Benefit Bill to protect the paternity rights of working men in Lok Sabha in September 2017. Some of the key aspects of the bill are as follows:
Objective: Paternity Benefit Bill, 2017
- The main purpose of this bill is to provide the relevant child with benefits for the natural parent, adoptive parent or a person acting in loco parentis.
- Paternity leave ensures that during and after childbirth the mother receives some support from the father, who is not forced to return to the workforce to generate income.
- It extends to the whole of India.
- The Act applies to all establishments, such as a factory, mine, planting, etc. belonging either to the Government of India or to the private sector.
- The provisions include all men in the government and the private sector, including those who are self- employed or who work in an unorganized sector with fewer than 10 employees.
Each employee shall be entitled to receive the paternity benefit at the same rate as the average daily wage payable to him on working days or at the fixed minimum wage rate or revised in accordance with the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 or ten rupees, whichever is the highest for the paternity leave period.
- A man shall only be entitled to the benefit if he has actually worked in the establishment from which he claims a paternity benefit for a period not less than 80 days in the twelve months immediately preceding the child’s expected delivery date.
- The 80-day qualification period shall not apply to a man who recently immigrated to the state and whose wife was pregnant at the time of immigration.
Duration of Leave
- Any person with less than 2 surviving children shall be entitled to a paternity benefit for a period of 15 days, not more than 7 days prior to the expected delivery date.
- Up to 3 months from the delivery date of the child will be used. This Act also provides for exceptional cases such as–
- If the man dies immediately after the date of delivery of his child for whom he is entitled to the paternity benefit, leaving the child behind, the employer shall be responsible for providing the benefit to the man’s nominee for the entire paternity period.
- If the child dies during the paternity period, the employer is also responsible for providing paternity benefits for the days leading up to the child’s death, including the date of death (child).
Parental Benefit Scheme – In accordance with this Act, the Central Government shall introduce a scheme with proper guidelines known as the parental benefit scheme for the provision of paternity benefits to every person.
Parental Scheme Benefit Fund – In accordance with this Act, the Central Government shall introduce a scheme with proper guidelines known as the parental benefit scheme for the provision of paternity benefits to every person. All employees( regardless of gender), employers and the Central Government would contribute to the Fund in the required ratio. The fund will then be used to cover the costs associated with paternity benefits under the Act.
Advance Payment of Salary – The paternity benefit amount for the period preceding the expected delivery date of the child to man shall be paid in advance by the employer to the employee on proof that his wife expects a child and the amount due for the subsequent period shall be paid to the employee within 48 hours of proof.
No dismissal – Whenever a man takes leave in accordance with the provisions of this Act, his employer is prohibited from discharging or discharging him from the establishment during or on account of such absence or from giving notice of discharge or discharge on such a day that the notice expires.
Inspecting Officer – The appropriate government may appoint officers by giving notice in the Official Gazette as it considers it appropriate to be an inspector in order to fulfill the objectives of this Act. The local boundaries of the jurisdiction in which they carry out their duties are defined by the governing authority. Each Inspector appointed under this Act shall be deemed a public servant under section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Non-fulfillment of Benefit – If an employer fails to pay a man entitled under this Act any amount of paternity benefit, he shall be punished by imprisonment not less than three months but may extend to one year and a fine, not less than twenty thousand rupees but may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
Miscarriage – In the event of a miscarriage, the Act provides that the employee is entitled to wages at the paternity benefit rate for a period of seven days immediately after the day of the miscarriage.
Adoption – Under the provisions of this Act, any person who legally adopts a child under the age of three months or the legal husband of the commissioning mother shall be entitled to a paternity benefit for a period of fifteen days from the date on which the child is handed over to the commissioning mother’s adopting father or legal husband.
Steps for the implementation of the Paternity Benefit Act
The Indian political parties began the work of introducing the Paternity Benefit Act in India shortly after the launch of the Maternity Benefit Act 2016. In September 2017, Mr. Rajeev Satav( Congress MP) introduced a bill protecting Paternal rights and providing for some room for paternity leave in India. According to the draft, men working in the private sector shall have the right to 30 days ‘ leave with pay at the time of birth. This leave shall only apply to the first two children. It was said that the bill will be presented at the next parliamentary session. There is no news in the media after that, however. As soon as we get it, we will keep posting it on our website.
Paternity Benefit Around the Globe
- The statutory parental leave shall be either 49 weeks with a salary of 100 percent or 59 weeks with a salary of 80 percent to be divided between the two parents but with certain limitations.
- When the child is born, the father is entitled to 2 weeks paid leave and must take an additional 14 weeks ‘ paid leave before the child turns 3.
- The rest of the weeks are up to the parents how they want to use it.
- Both parents have three months of independent parental leave.
- And also have a joint right to three additional months, which can be taken by one parent or divided equally between parents.
- Parents are given the policy of receiving a paid parental leave of 480 days( 16 months) of 80% of their salary.
- In the case of twins, they are also entitled to 180 bonus days. It must take at least three of those 16 months for Swedish fathers.
- The days do not expire until the child reaches an age of 8 years.
- Fathers are entitled to 30 days paid leave to do justice to their fatherhood and to be bound by the newborn child at 100% of the covered salary.
The Presence of the Father has a positive effect on the mental health and self-esteem of a child.
- Studies show that when a father is present in the child, he or she grows up as a healthier and happier person apart from the presence of a mother with the child.
- In support of the study, the UNICEF report suggests that children who have healthier relationships with their father are possessing better mental health, higher self- esteem and are satisfied with their lives as they grow.
- A child’s father always plays a secondary role in caring for a newborn child, because it is always believed that a child needs the mother most, but also a father.
By restricting the benefits of parental leave and child care to women only, the law effectively places women in charge of children’s education. This, in turn, glorifies the “double burden” and the “effective multi-task” that women must undertake since men are not compensated for sharing the burden at home. While some companies have eliminated gender parental leave by using terms such as a primary caregiver and a secondary caregiver. Most advanced companies also extend their parental policy to adoption and surrogacy. The recent law of the Maternity Benefit Act complies with global standards for working Indian mothers. It is hoped that the working parents will be relieved of the task of choosing between newborn and profession.
Authored by – Kabir Jaiswal from It’s National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi.
Author: Kabir Jaiswal,
National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi [3 year]