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Nigerian Government Approves 14-Day Paternity Leave For Male Civil Servants

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The Federal Government has approved 14-day paternity leave for serving male officers whose spouse delivers a baby.

Folasade Yemi-Esan, the head of Civil Service of the Federation, in a circular said the leave will take effect from November 25, 2022.

She said the leave is in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021 Edition.

“Government has also approved Paternity Leave for serving male officers whose spouse delivers a baby. The period of the leave shall be fourteen working days. The leave shall not be more than once in two years, and a for maximum of four children.

“Where the family of a male officer adopts a child under four months old, the officer will similarly enjoy Paternity Leave for a period of fourteen working days,” the circular read.

Yemi-Esan also said request for such leave must be accompanied by the Expected Date of Delivery’s, EDD, report of the officer’s wife or evidence of approval of the adoption of the child by the relevant government bodies.

House Of Reps Blocks Bill On Paternity Leave

The Nigerian House of Representatives has rejected a bill seeking to grant leave to married men in the advent of childbirth by their wives.

The bill aims to provide for an act to make provisions for optional paternity leave to all married male employees in private and public sectors.

Lagos and Enugu states are among the few states in the country that have legal backing for such leave, with some giving as much as 21 days.

It failed to scale through second reading when called up during plenary on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Edward Pwajok, a Plateau state lawmaker who sponsored the bill, argued that the idea that only women care for children is “outdated”.

He added that nations such as Denmark, UK, Iceland, Australia have all made progress partly because of their recognition of the role of men in the upbringing of children.

“As father’s share of parenting is on the increase, they experience similar challenges with women, such as their jobs and family duties clashing,” he said.

“Making provision for maternity leave without provision for maternity leave is discriminatory against men.”

Most of the lawmakers who contributed to the debate on the bill described it as “unnecessary.”

Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State argued that both men and women go through different forms of pains in life.

He also said the bill did not reflect the needs of  Nigerians.

“What is the spirit behind the labour law? I think that this bill should be thrown out,” he added.

Nkem Uzoma-Abonta from Abia state, however, supported the bill, saying it is long overdue.

But the lawmakers voted against second reading for the bill.

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