The Tripartite Committee formed to handle the paternity leave proposal has concluded its work.
The final draft of the proposal will be presented to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations for onward submission to cabinet and to Parliament for approval.
Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Ofosu Asamoah who announced this, explained that the Committee made up of the Labour Unions, the NLC, and government officials proposed either a week or one-month paternity leave period while asking for maternity leave to be increased to six months from the current three-month period.
The Tripartite Committee received proposals from unions requesting paternity leave.The unions further requested an expansion of the maternity leave from three months to six. The committee has concluded all deliberations and is ready to forward proposals to the cabinet for a review.
The committee would present the final draft to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations for onward submission to Cabinet and to parliament. The Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Mr Ofosu Asamoah hinted that before it goes to the Minister, the committee would organize stakeholders’ engagements and solicit the view of all including women, and the media.
Already, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, is sponsoring a private member’s bill proposing an amendment to extend maternity leave from three months to four months. The bill was introduced in Parliament after it was submitted to the Clerk-to-Parliament on Friday, October 6, 2023. The bill, which is seeking to amend the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), is also proposing an option for an additional two weeks of maternity leave in the case of a caesarean section (CS), stillbirth(s) or multiple births.
The Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2023, also known as parental leave for all, is also pushing for the introduction of paid paternity leave for men for a minimum of seven days and a maximum period of four weeks, with the option of an additional two weeks in case of caesarean, stillbirth(s) or multiple deliveries of spouse and to provide for related matters.
It is aimed at allowing new mothers adequate time to give birth, exclusively breastfeed, care for and bond with their new baby, as well as recover before returning to work. The essence of paternity leave is to enable men to take care of their wives and assist the new mothers with domestic chores.