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Paternity leave, a boon for new dads PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Divya Subramanian   

Even though there is no specific law that enforces paternity leave, more and more companies in India are increasingly offering paternity leave to their employees. , “It is a great concept and is also very useful. I took my paternity leave last month as my wife delivered our baby in - Hyderabad.”

In the good old days, dads didn’t dare enter the delivery room, let alone take time off from work to bond with junior or care for their wife. Today’s practical, quality-oflife-loving fathers are a far cry from them and the birth of nuclear families has made paternity leave almost mandatory. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, paternity leave is a paid leave granted by the company to an employee when he becomes a father.

And even though there is no specific law that enforces this leave, more and more companies in India are increasingly offering paternity leave to their employees. Employees of Infosys are eligible to avail three continuous working days of paternity leave and this option is avail able for the birth of the first two children.

Similarly Datacraft India also gives paternity leave. Says Ulhas Aher, HR head, Datacraft India, “We give three days paid paternity leave on the birth of the child. We give it only twice, i.e. during the birth of the first two children only and the gap between the two leaves should be three years. This is a symbolic gesture that we are participating in the employee’s happiness and also an indirect message that one should not have more than two children.”

So how do the employees feel about this gesture? Says Bangaru Babu, IT manager at Omega Healthcare services, Bangalore, “It is a great concept and is also very useful. I took my paternity leave last month as my wife delivered our baby in Hyderabad. Our company gives us five days paternity leave. So this combined with the two weekends (before and after the leave period), I got to take nine days off. I could go over to Hyderabad, finish all the hospital for malities and also take care of my wife and child. I think every company should introduce it.”

Apart from natural birth, paternity leave is also being given for adoption by certain companies. “We give five days paid paternity leave even on the adoption of a child, apart from child birth. They can avail it within sixty days of adoption of a child. Birth or adoption, a child is the same for the parents and it needs attention from both the parents. That is the reason why we offer paternity leave even on the adoption of a child.” says Guruvaryurappan, HR head at Omega Healthcare services.

While some may argue that three to five days is not enough, it may be considered as a ray of light — corporates are at least becoming sensitive about the con cept. But there are still many companies who don't give paternity leave and employees are not too happy about it — especially when they see other companies offering the same. Says an employee of Wipro Technologies, who did not want to be named, “Our com pany does not give paternity leave. So I had to use my personal leave when my wife delivered our baby. Ever since she got pregnant, I was saving up my leave, so that I could be with her after the delivery. It would have been a little less stressful if they had offered some kind of paternity leave.”

 



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