Working dads entitled to ‘breastfeeding’ leave

Share this article with other mums

Share with us your thoughts on Spain's court-appointed rule - that working dads are entitled 'Breastfeeding' leave!

Europe’s top court passed a legislation back in 2010 ruling that dads are entitled to “breastfeeding” leave.

Yes that’s right – the European Union Court of Justice ruled Thursday that a Spanish law caused an “unjustified discrimination on grounds of sex” because fathers are not afforded the same right as women unless the baby’s mother is an employee.

In Spain, working parents are allowed to take breastfeeding leave during the first nine months following the birth of a child, allowing an absence from work for an hour or a half-hour reduction in the working day. Previous laws ruled that dads can apply for the benefit only if the mum is working full-time.

The European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that treating dads and mums differently in this case “is liable to perpetuate a traditional distribution of the roles of men and women by keeping men in a role subsidiary to that of women in relation to the exercise of their parental duties”. The case was put forth by Pedro Manuel Roca Alvarez, who raised it on the basis that his request to take breastfeeding leave from his job in Galicia was rejected because the mother of his child was self-employed.

The top court said such a refusal could have the effect of forcing self-employed mothers to limit their work because the dads cannot share the burden.

The Spanish law was instituted in 1900 to facilitate breastfeeding by the mother, but it has evolved over the years and the right has been granted for bottle feeding too, the EU court said. It continued with the mentality that breastfeeding leave should now be considered as “time purely devoted to the child” in order to reconcile family life and work following maternity leave, as reported by the Telegraph.

In Singapore, working fathers, including those who are self-employed, are entitled to 1 week of paid paternity leave if they fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Dads may also be eligible for an additional week of paid paternity leave if their employers voluntarily agree to provide it. All paid paternity leaves are funded by the Government.

A dad is eligible for Government-paid Paternity leave (GPPL) if they meet the following criteria:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • You are or had been lawfully married to the child’s mother between conception and birth.
  • For employees: you have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child.
  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child, and have lost income during the paternity leave period.

What does having a GPPL entail?

  • 1 week of GPPL is given to you.
  • Dads with kids born from the 1st January 2015 onwards, can get up to 1 additional week of GPPL, if the employer agrees to it.
  • Each week of GPPL is capped at $2,500, including CPF contributions.

Taking of GPPL can take many forms, here is the breakdown:

Arrangement Up to 2 weeks
Default 1-2 continuous weeks within 16 weeks after the birth.
Flexibly, by mutual agreement 1-2 continuous weeks any time within 12 months after the birth.

Split the 1-2 weeks into working days and take them in any combination within 12 months after the birth of the child.

Calculating actual leave days 1-2 weeks X the number of working days in the week.
Capped at 6 working days per week.

To go about applying for GPPL,

Paternity leaves should not be wasted, here are some guidelines for spending them.

What do you do with your leaves? Tell us below.

For Dads only Breastfeeding