Paternity Leave

@AmbiePam (49883)
United States
November 3, 2012 10:42am CST
I thought about paternity leave when I noticed a woman on a television program was going into her 4th month of maternity leave. I thought, wow! Four months of maternity leave? I have heard of people on TV (like famous newscasters, talk show hosts) getting up to three months of maternity leave, but never four. In the real world I have never heard of a woman getting more than six weeks of maternity leave. And I know only recently (like in the last couple decades) paternity leave has really been given. And I wonder how much time men get off for their jobs when a baby is introduced to the family. I wouldn't think as long as the mother since he wouldn't be doing the majority of the work, and it isn't his body that has to get back to normal (although the mom in question on the TV program I am referencing did not physicall give birth - she adopted the baby and she's gotten all that time off). I like that they have paternity leave available now because the new mothers need all the help they can get. What do you think? Would you have liked it if your husband had had paternity leave when you had a baby? Is there anyone here whose husband had a job that actually gave him the time off? I just don't see a lot of guys who get it. I think higher paying jobs offer it, but not regular vocations.
2 people like this
20 responses
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
3 Nov 12
In Canada, new mothers get one year of maternity leave. This is covered through EI. Some employers "top up" the new mother's income to her regular salary. Men can take paternity leave but the maternity leave and the paternity leave have to add up to one year. And adoptive parents take Parental leave, which has the same rules. I think it's nice to have the time to bond, although it is hard for a woman's career.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
One year!? Wow!
@Sindelle (830)
• United States
3 Nov 12
Yes, I'm in the military and when someone has a baby the husband gets maternity leave. Its only about a week or two but its still very nice. I think the mother gets about three months of maternity leave where I work. I think its perfectly reasonable that a man should get some paternity leave. Maybe not quite as much as the mother but a week or two is quite reasonable. Between the fact that the baby may not have normal sleep habits yet and the man is very excited and wants to bond with the child I think most employers should offer maternity leave for men.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
And the poor mom probably needs some support which her husband can give.
1 person likes this
@sulynsi (2837)
• Canada
3 Nov 12
I see someone already mentioned this, but when I saw your post, it made me think of when I started working in payroll and came across the American maternity leave rules. My first thought when I saw that women in the States get 6 weeks was "WHAT? poor things!" As was mentioned, in Canada, maternity is up to a year, and that can be shared between partners, for adoption as well as for a natural child. Quebec legislation is very generous to young parents. Guess they are trying to encourage population growth. Makes sense, I guess. Our entire population is about the size of metro NY!
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
A year, I just can't imagine. But you know until someone mentioned it the other day, I thought Canada had a lot more people in it. Then I looked up the population.
@sulynsi (2837)
• Canada
3 Nov 12
Lol Yes, we rattle around this huge country. Huge land area, small population. Most of us live near the US/Canada border Here's a funny statistic for you - our most densely populated province has, get this, about 135,000 people!! Can you imagine?! Most densely populated!!!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
5 Nov 12
I'd go Australia. Just because I've been there and loved the people. But I've never been to Canada. Perhaps I'd change my mind. One thing is for sure, we don't need more people!
@GardenGerty (101763)
• United States
3 Nov 12
I want to start out saying people can correct me if I am wrong, and I will not get mad. I am going to explain things as I understand them. 1. Under Federal FMLA law, any person who works in a qualified job can request up to 12 weeks of family leave in a calendar year, not necessarily paid leave. It allows them to keep their insurance and their position is guaranteed. Whether an employer is covered generally depends on how many people it employs. 2. Military get more leave. 3. Birth and adoption and other medical situations not involving children qualify for FMLA. 4. People have to ask for or apply for FMLA, and companies also have to show it is offered and whether or not it was turned down. So, although our local church does not employ that many people, its insurance is through the conference who does. When one of our associate pastors became a dad this summer he took about four weeks off to bond with his new child and help his wife at home. He is paid under contract so I assume he was paid the full time. Your dad could possibly request FMLA to take care of your mom. There are a lot of pages of paperwork put out by the Federal Government regarding Family leave. I took six weeks paid leave for my foot surgery and was offered an additional six weeks to further the recovery if I wanted it. I signed a paper turning it down because I was resigning the position. I was then offered alternative employment, which I also resigned, so then I could not claim unemployment because I refused alternative employment.
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
My dad doesn't get any kind of insurance from his job. Do you have to have insurance to get that kind of leave?
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (101763)
• United States
3 Nov 12
It is not insurance, but it depends on how the company is set up. I know your dad is a pastor. I have not asked if we gave Dallas leave because of FMLA or if we are just a bunch of good people who love our families. I did not ever find just what would require a "company' to offer FMLA when I looked online. Your dad is a pastor, but if each church is independent, they would be exempt, I believe. Our churches are not independent.
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@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
8 Nov 12
I have no doubt my church would do whatever they could to ease his burden. But my dad is so stubborn he'd run himself into the ground before taking much time off.
• United States
3 Nov 12
Hi Amber. I am glad that some employers offer paternity leave. I hope that the trend carries on to all fathers who want to bond with their babies. Oftentimes dads feel like they are not much more than sperm Donets because they don't get the time to bond. They have to work while the mother is recovering and bonding. New moms need the help. Instead of getting grandma to help the moms, dads should have this time to experience fatherhood from birth on through a leave of a sense period. Baby and mom and dad are getting to know each other during this time. I would have loved having help from my husband, but that is a whole 'nother topic.
1 person likes this
@mydanods (6749)
• Nigeria
3 Nov 12
now don't get jealous of our mothers who deserve some maternity leave. as for dads, when they do get to have the opportunity for maternity leave, i wonder if they will spend that time for bonding? i am not yet a father, but i know men do not have the patient and endurance to take care of a tweeny tiny little baby that weights nothing but a bag of feathers.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Nov 12
Fathers that love their babies and are hands on dads will want to bond with their babies. It's not a competition between mom and dad. It's a partnership. It's a stereotype that dads don't want to bond with their babies. They are the ones that are usually pushed out of the way. The mom and mom's mom usually handle the newborn adjusting to the family cause the dad isn't allowed the time to bond. A baby is very fortunate when he/she has both parents bonding.
• United States
3 Nov 12
Well there are several options for longer maternity leave. Some people save vacation time use this then disability to cover the maternity which gives them more time off. Some jobs actually offer a savings plan of sorts that allows a certain percent taken and put aside much like a 401K. Then the woman gets a "paycheck" out of that for as long as she can, many then take traditional maternity leave after that. Some do it without pay. Due to the fact that early born babies are being able to be saved though in the hospital for longer periods of times laws have been created to help these people be at the hospital or take an additional leave when baby does come home. My sister in law did this took six weeks when her second was born at 26 weeks. He didn't come home for 5 months so she was given an additional maternity leave when he came home.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
Yeah, I was wondering how many places give paid paternity leave just like they do for moms.
• United States
3 Nov 12
My husbands job with our third daughter would double what ever paid vacation the man had as Paternity leave. They would also allow an additional week of unpaid.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
4 Nov 12
Men are more and more taking time off with their new babies. It has come to pass that FMLA is covering them to be off with their wives. Now paternity leave falls under a disability act but FMLA was originally for women that needed to be off with their children during illnesses. Protected them from losing their jobs or titles for a given amount of time per year. People are using it for more now. I was able to take two weeks off to care for my daughter after she gave birth through FMLA. Men are taking part in this protection too. In whatever vocation they are in, as far as I know, if they have worked a certain amount of hours and there are at least 50 employees employed within a 75 mile radius, they are eligible for that FMLA. Doctors have to fill out paperwork and it is not paid but their jobs and titles are protected while they are out.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
5 Nov 12
That's cool that you could take off for your daugher's birth.
@yahnee (1250)
• Philippines
4 Nov 12
In my country, a woman who gives birth the normal way gets only 2 months maternity leave or 60 days; however, if it is through ceasarian section, she gets 78 days maternity leave. The husband if they are legally married gets paternity leave of 7 days perhaps to help the wife get back on her feet. These are compulsory benefits as required by law and which employers have to abide with. Husbands need to be around when the wife gives birth as a kind of moral support hence the benefit provided.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
4 Nov 12
That seems like a good system.
@subhojit10 (7382)
• India
3 Nov 12
Thanks a ton for sharing this discussion. Well it is very hard to hear about paternity leaves nowadays especially when everyone is busy making money. I know it is not that important to get paternity leaves when u have other members in the house to take care of the pregnant lady but if the situation worsens then a paternity leave is a must and also to get leave while working for a private firm is extremely difficult but then the reason of taking leave can be stated also. What say?
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
Those are good points.
@peavey (16856)
• United States
3 Nov 12
My son saved up vacation and sick time so he would have it when the baby was born. It was a good thing, too, because she was sick a lot. As for my husband... I'm kinda glad they didn't even think about paternity leave back then. Not that he didn't love the kids and help a little, but he was pretty useless when it came to diapering, bathing and so on. He did walk the floor with the kids to get them to sleep, so that was good. But he didn't have to take off work to do it.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
3 Nov 12
True, some women might prefer to be without their husbands.
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
30 Nov 12
Paternity leave has been in effect for quite a few years here in England, although I do not know anyone who has actually taken it. I agree with the system and it was a natural step after the introduction of equality in the workplace. Even so, a man is never likely to quality for more than one or two weeks absence from work. This seems quite fair to me because it is the woman who has actually had the baby and it does give the husband time to look after her properly and share the workload initially.
1 person likes this
@hmkoct5 (2067)
• United States
13 Nov 12
My husband and I have talked about this subject before. He always thought it wasn't fair that men didn't get paternity leave when their wives/significant other had a baby. It was really difficult for him to go to work after having a child. He was also awake all night and doing many things to help with the child. I don't think the husband would need a full three or four months, but I definitely think a month would have been very helpful!
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
5 Nov 12
I think that it is good that the fathers be allowed paternity leave when their child is born. Neither of my kids dads were really all that involved in their lives, so it is not something that would have helped me out, but I think it is great for the fathers who actually care about their kids.
1 person likes this
@RitterSport (2452)
• Lippstadt, Germany
3 Nov 12
hi dear Ambie, here it starts to be a bit more common that men take paternity leave. My brother who works at an office, did that and one of my colleagues did that too. I think its time well spent and hope many more will be following in these footsteps.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
3 Nov 12
My son in law took time off from his job when their baby was born....but it was leave from the air force. I don't know of any place that offers that to fathers..they have a definate part in all of this too....staying up at night when the baby won't sleep....hands on care. I think it would be a very good idea.
1 person likes this
• India
3 Nov 12
hmm.. thats interesting. 4 months of leave is awesome. The place where I works grants just 3 days of Paternity Leave. I think it would be great if guys would get little longer Leaves. If baby is introduced in family, we would need more time to enjoy
1 person likes this
@natliegleb (5184)
• India
3 Nov 12
its time to take leave and enjoy rather than work,because the baby can feel relaxed before birth
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
3 Nov 12
A girl I worked with at the bank got 3 months paid maternity leave, then she took another 3 months unpaid. But then her position was cut and she had to go to a different bank when she came back. I think paternity leave is a great idea. I would have loved for my husband to have been able to be home with me when my kids were born. He saved his vacation time so he could take a week or 2 off.. but that wasn't enough since I was in the hospital for like 3 days so he was only there to help for a couple days. With my 5 year old he took a whole 2 weeks.. which was hard because they weren't allowed to take 2 weeks in a row so he had to get them to make an exception.. plus he wanted to start it whenever I went into labor, so he started it in the middle of the week. I was supposed to be induced, but it didn't take the first time, so I had to wait a week. Then the second time it took 2 days for it to work. Since he started his vacation the day I went in for the first induction, he basically had to go right back to work after I left the hospital. Then of course he didn't have any vacation time left for the rest of the year.. and the following year I was pregnant again with the 4 year old. He only took 1 week that time.
1 person likes this
@UmiNoor (3535)
• Malaysia
6 Dec 12
In my country a woman can get 4 weeks maternity leave before giving birth and another 4 weeks of maternity leave after giving birth but this would be at the discretion of the doctor. If the pregnancy is problematic then the doctor would suggest having 4 weeks of leave before giving birth so it's about two months of leave. After that, the woman can still apply for leave but it'll be unpaid medical leave. As for paternity leave, that will be great to get the help from the husband during maternity leave because a woman needs to recover after giving birth. And an extra pair of hands to help around the house and with the baby would be very much welcome by the new mother. However, I don't think in my country there's such a thing. The man can apply for urgent private affairs leave or emergency leave but that wouldn't be too many days. And it's called compassionate leave and not paternity leave.
• United States
3 Nov 12
Women can and should take as much time as they need before returning to work after having a child, some use that time to bond with their baby and decide if they should go back to work at all. Paternity leave is for fathers, and it doesn't matter if its their first child or their third. Maternity leave was designed to give women who had entered the work force a chance to still have a baby and take time for themselves and their newborn. It was a law enacted under the president Bill Clinton.