Gov't to hold consultations on paternity leave
The Government has embarked on discussions regarding the introduction of a Paternity Leave Act to encourage shared parenting, support and mentoring.
Speaking at an International Men’s Day forum on November 19 at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters in St Andrew, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Gender Denzil Thorpe said the Act is in line with the recommendations of the National Policy for Gender Equality.
Paternity leave is defined as a job-protected period of leave for employed men, with income support provided in some cases.
Paternity leave is a short period of leave for fathers following childbirth.
“In response to the discussions regarding the passing of a Paternity Leave Act or a Parental Leave Act to accommodate paternity leave, there will be consultations on the relevance of paternity leave to the Jamaican society and the parameters of the Paternity Leave Act,” he said.
“This is of major significance as the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport seeks to introduce paternity leave as a benefit to men as fathers are part and parcel of the Jamaican workforce. It is well established that for gender to be truly transformative, it has to be inclusive,” Thorpe said.
The policy outlines Jamaica’s commitment towards gender equality and to providing an enabling environment for achieving the goals of fairness and socio-economic justice for women and men.
Meanwhile, Director for the Institute of Gender and Development Studies, Professor Opal Palmer Adisa, endorsed the Paternity Leave Act.
“It is an amazing thing to see how it grows a man to grow his child and to be involved in every aspect of his child’s development. Paternity leave is extremely important because we want to shift the paradigm that says it is the mother’s job. It is both parents’ job,” she said.
Meanwhile, father of five, Lindon Baldwin, said men should get paternity leave because they play an important role in the development of their children.
“They should be with the mother and the child during the early stages of life to give support and for the bonding and nurturing so that children can develop to be well-adjusted adults in society,” he said.