Tuesday Jan 28, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday passed the Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill, 2018, which will make it mandatory for employers to grant six-months paid maternity leave and three-months paid paternity leave, reported The News.
The bill was moved by PPP’s Quratulain Marri and in the proposed law, the leaves policy will be applicable in both public and private establishments of the federal capital territory. The bill was passed with a majority of votes, even as government senators opposed the move.
The bill will now be sent to the National Assembly for consideration, where the government has a majority.
“The employees of every establishment shall be provided six-month paid maternity and three-months paternity leave as and when applied by employees, separately from their leave account, commencing from the date as applied by the applicant in the application and supported by a medical certificate,” says the bill. Besides, the bill also provides for additional three-month maternity leave and one-month paternity leave, both of which would be unpaid.
The paternity leave seeks to give fathers the opportunity to be with their family at a crucial time without worrying about their work. The bill hopes that with the leaves the father and child’s bond could come at an early stage of life.
Senator Marri, while presenting the bill lamented that female employees weren’t given maternity leave in the public sector. She also claimed that even in the Senate women were told not to produce so many children.
Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar opposed the bill and said that there was already a law to give 90-day maternity leave to female employees, while male government employees could avail 48 leaves in a year.
He suggested lowering the number of paternity leaves to 15 days, adding that nowhere in the world was there a provision so many paternity leaves.