One month paternity leave needless – Minister
A Deputy Minister of Employment, Bright Wireku-Brobbey, believes husbands need a maximum of a week to stay at home with their spouses after fresh delivery.
According to him, anything above seven days as paternity leave will adversely affect productivity, adding women just need emotional support to take care of babies.
“Personally, I will not advocate for a one month paternity leave because we give the necessary support and empowerment to our women who biologically can handle these babies,” Mr. Wireku-Brobbey said at an event to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018.
He added: “We have to give them emotional support – keep communication active during working period. You don’t need it. Maybe three days to a week for a man, but for one month for a man to leave office and join his wife?
“In Denmark they have gone far and they have like nine months – six months for the woman and three months for the man. These are very advanced societies. I don’t believe that for Ghana we should have like a month, especially when productivity is something as a sector minister I’m looking at strongly.”
Amnesty International has tabled a proposal pushing for a mandatory one-month paternity leave for husbands, while wives will have three more months of maternity leave.
Meanwhile, the government has served notice cabinet has already approved a decision to increase the maternity leave from 12 to 14 weeks.
“It is Maternity Protection Bill and per ILO Convention 103 which Ghana is a signatory to…that convention stipulates a minimum of 14 weeks. So if you look at the way we have three months it means we are behind that convention which was passed in 2000,” Mr. Wireku-Brobbey said.
He continued that per the Ghanaian Labour Act “we have 12 weeks. But then we are advocating that in the new Bill which we are seeking to produce we will go to 14 weeks to begin with.”
Some European countries where paternity leave is granted include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, France and Spain.