PNPYO blasts Chuck for stance on paternity leave
The People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) has described Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck’s position on paternity leave as archaic and poorly reasoned.
“If you want paternity leave, you must be living with the mother for a few months before birth. If it’s your wife, no problem,” Chuck said as he addressed a Ministry of Justice child diversion sensitisation session in Montego Bay, St James last Wednesday.
“If it’s your girlfriend, then you can’t come and say, ‘It’s my child and, therefore, [I am] entitled to paternity leave’, and you not living with the mother. You would be getting paternity leave to do what? Visit her every day?”
READ: No paternity leave if men don’t live with mothers
In a statement this afternoon, PNPYP President Krystal Tomlinson argued that it was baffling that Chuck is seeking to confine parental rights only to men who are married or living in the same home as their child’s mother.
“Parental leave is not a reward for cohabitation or matrimony. It is meant to provide men with the opportunity to bond with their newborn and support the mother in caregiving in those early and difficult months of parenting,” Tomlinson said.
“It is becoming abundantly clear that the Minister of Justice is well outside of his depth on this matter and should consult the research, observe how similar legislation has been enacted globally, and engage in genuine consultation with stakeholders,” she added.
Tomlinson said the PNPYO supports the view that both parents must have equal opportunity - including the benefit of enabling legislation - to participate in the growth and development of their child/children.