By Emmanuel Nduka
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a 14-day paternity leave for male civil servants, granting them the privilege to bond with their newborn infants.
This was disclosed to State House Correspondents on Wednesday by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, after the week’s virtual FEC meeting, presided over by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The HOS re-echoed that the new opportunity will make for proper bonding between the father and a newborn baby, either natural-born or adopted, especially at the early stages of the child’s life.
Dr Yemi -Esan further explained that adopted babies of less than four months will also enjoy this gesture.
It would be recalled that in June 2018, the federal government increased the time frame for maternity leave for nursing mothers to four months.
Under the Nigerian Labour Law passed in 2004, a woman working in Nigeria’s civil service, had the right to maternity leave of three months, as long as she provides a medical certificate stating she should not or cannot work.
The medical certificate allows her to stay off work for 12 weeks – six weeks before the birth of her baby and six weeks after.
A bill for an Act to make provisions for optional paternity leave to married male employees in private and public service had been in the pipeline.
Thus, the new legislation makes for a sense of balance between both gender in the workplace.