Organizations are increasingly being liberal when it comes to providing leaves to new fathers at the pace we never imagined before. A few months back, maternity leave, surrogacy leave and adoption leave has been extended. However, alongside this change, a lesser-talked but much wanted change was shaping up. For the first few weeks following birth, both mother and father need that time with their little bundle of joy. Just like maternity, paternity leaves hold importance too. Studies have demonstrated that father who are involved with their families are more psychological content. They lead a satisfactory life, longer life and better relationships with their partners.
Given all of these benefits, a majority of parents do take some time off following the birth. However, the ratio and leaves allocated to father are comparatively lesser as compared to mother. The Central government has granted a paid leave of 15 days to its male employees for a decade now, but majority of private sector still dictate the same leave patterns for new dads. As of growing importance of paternity leaves, we still see several companies offering a few token days (five or 10) of leaves to new dads; others are evaluating and considering progressive policies for new dads.
According to a latest report, India is among the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of companies providing paternity and adoption leaves above the statutory requirement in the world. While big-giant players like Amazon, Virgin, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are updating their paternity leave policies and for good reasons too. At the same time, mid-size companies are still catching up the race.
While there might be some truth to the beliefs that paternity leaves might just be extended holidays for men, it might do us all some good if we also think from the other perspective as well. Let’s take a quick look as how it paternity leave benefits is not just good for dads, but also for kids.
A new academic study finds that men who take paternity leave develop a strong bonding with their kids and do better on some cognitive ability tasks. It will change the perception of dads and they will also gain enriching experience out of this.
Further, new fathers should be willing to take paternity leaves and should cast away their apprehensions of availing paternity leaves and asking for their rights to live this new chapter of their lives. Companies, who are still contemplating about updating their paternal leave policies can evaluate productivity, level of satisfaction and fulfillment for new fathers. At this time, when companies are focusing more on employee engagement and their satisfaction, supporting them during such an important time will create a path of trust, integrity, collaboration, loyalty and commitment.