Senate passes Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill with a majority
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Senate on Monday passed the Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill 2018, making it mandatory for employers to grant six-month paid maternity leave and three-month paid paternity leave.
It has also been recommended in the bill to grant additional unpaid three-month maternity leave and one-month paternity leave.
However, the government has opposed the bill.
As per the bill, the leaves policy will be applicable in both public and private sector.
Senator Quratulain Marri presented the bill, which will now be sent to the National Assembly for debate.
“The employees of every establishment shall be provided six-months paid maternity and three-months paternity leave as and when applied by employees, separately from their leave account, commencing from the date as applied by the applicant in the application and supported by a medical certificate,” reads the bill.
The provision for paternity leave “seeks to provide fathers the opportunity to be there at a crucial time without the added responsibility of the workplace,” the bill states, adding that, “the early close relationship between father and child has long-term implications.”
Addressing the session, Senator Marri lamented that female employees were not given maternity leave in the public sector.
Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, while opposing the bill, said that there was already a law to give 90-day maternity leave to female employees, while male government employees could avail 48-day leaves in a year.
He proposed to reduce the number of paternity leaves to 15 days.