South African fathers will finally receive paid paternity leave. This follows a Bill that was passed in Parliament on 28 November, which states that fathers will be allowed to spend ten working days at home with their new born baby. Currently fathers who want to stay with their baby and the mother have to take family responsibility leave, which is limited to three days per annual cycle, or put in annual leave. Tabloid Newspapers took to the streets to find out if the community thinks the new Bill is a good idea or not and if 10 days is an ideal number of days for paid paternity leave.
Eunice Maphumulo I think it is a good idea because after labour and especially after delivering a baby by C-section, a mother cannot just start a routine so she will need the father around to help. As a mother, when I had my first baby I had a C-section and I was alone. It was hard to even make my baby’s morning bottle. The new bill will also allow the dad to bond with the child and the mother during this time. I think one to two weeks is enough so 10 days is sufficient for paternity leave.
The bill is definitely a good idea. In my situation I was married for five years before I had my first baby and my mum passed away just before I fell pregnant. Then my dad passed away just days before my baby was born.
My husband worked overseas so I was all alone and had to handle things by myself. I had no help. Men should have paid leave for such crisis situations. Not having the dad around is really hard. You do not know what is going to happen and you need help.
Kyra Singh I am for it. Mums are not the only ones having the baby, both parents are. They should be equals and raise the baby together which is fair. I would not want to be alone with the baby at first. It would be good to experience everything together. Ten days is fine, both parents cannot get off from work for too long. It gives you time to find your feet and learn a routine.
Colleen Marais It is a good idea because I definitely think it is important. Very often dads are there at the birth of the baby but are not as supportive when the mother is home alone with the baby. Every culture is different. Some have family help while others do not, like in my culture, we are left alone and have to take care of the baby ourselves. If dads are there then they can make the mum a cup of tea, give her a break to sleep and the like. It is good that South Africa has caught up with the rest of the world. This will encourage dads to be there for their kids, provided that they actually use the ten days for taking care of the baby and not for personal activities. I think ten days are enough.
This is excellent. Three days is not enough time because babies are normally in hospital for two days before being discharged. It is not enough time for the father to bond with his new born baby and the mother. Ten days will help with registering the baby and seeing to family and friends who come by to visit at home. The father can entertain and welcome them.
I think this is an excellent idea. This will allow the father time to bond with the newborn baby, offer support to the mother and also for him to adjust to the changes that comes with having a baby. For first time parents especially, it can be very overwhelming. Ten days is sufficient for them to form routines and adjust to life as a parent. With it being paid leave it also relieves financial concerns and allows both parents to experience the joy of just being parents.