Fathers don’t need one-month paternity leave – Minister

A Deputy Minister of Employment, Bright Wireku-Brobbey, said that he believes fathers need a maximum of a week to stay at home with their partners after the delivery.

He told Accra-based Starr FM that he believes fathers need a maximum of a week to stay at home with their partners after the delivery.

“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.”

He explained that the most important thing is the emotional support a man must provide for the mother to be able to care for the child.

“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?”

He also asked that productive hours are considered if men are given one-month paternity leave.

“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.”

Meanwhile Amnesty International is pushing for a mandatory one-month paternity leave for husbands, while wives will have three more months of maternity leave.

“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.

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