The other week I finally confessed to the team that I’m 4 months pregnant, but during the course of my pregnancy I’ve been wondering, why is paternity leave only 2 weeks?
The Australian Government pays new mums 18 weeks of maternity leave at minimum wage. Whereas fathers only get 2 weeks paid leave, also at the national minimum wage. I’m thankful there is government assistance there for both new mums and new fathers, although I feel 2 weeks for the dads just isn’t enough.
Fathers are their child’s primary carer just as much as the child’s mother. Yes, if you can/want to breastfeed, that’s a job only the mother can do but dad is just as important whilst you’re adjusting at home, helping change nappies, cooking and giving their partner respite to reduce sleep deprivation.
If you choose to or have to have an emergency C-section, this also takes a massive toll on the woman’s body, hence the help at home is much needed to help mum recover physically.
I say we need to take a leaf out of Sweden’s book! New fathers over there get the same amount as their partners, both sexes are entitled to 16 months of paid parental leave (paid at a rate of 80% of your salary) and the days don’t expire until the child is 8 years old.
Is it time to re-think paternity leave here in Aus?