Gov’t considering 6 months paternity leave- Volda Lawrence


The Government through the Social Protection Ministry will be considering the granting of paternity leave, even as the discourse on the extension of the maternity leave is still ongoing.


Social Protection Minister, Volda Lawrence in an invited comment to the media on Thursday said government will be taking the issue of the extension of maternity leave from three months to six months, as well as the granting of paternity leave, to the National Assembly early next year.


“The best practice is six months but we have to have our deliberations, not only with Government entities but also the private sector to ensure Guyana is ready for six months, that’s what we would like to  have, six months,” she noted further.


According to Lawrence, the push for paternity leave is in keeping with her ministry’s goal of building strong families.


There are several countries around the world that grant paternity leave of varying periods. The reasons also vary, with some countries granting the leave to fathers to ensure that they are equally involved in the caring for the new-born, while others view it as an effort to ensure gender equality.


As it relates to the extension of the maternity leave, Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton had noted that the current three months maternity leave flies in the face of the call for mothers to exclusively breastfeed up to six months.


Minister Lawrence had also stated that this provision would be included in the Social Protection ministry’s 2017 programme, along with day care services in corporate agencies.


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