Paternity Leave in India: A Rulebook for New Fathers

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Paternity Leave in India: A Rulebook for New Fathers

Imagine the excitement of welcoming a new baby into your family. Those first weeks and months are a whirlwind of happiness, baby bottles, and sleepless nights. We all are aware of maternity leaves that moms often get to spend time with the new baby and also to heal from the  delivery period.

But, what snatching our attention today is that even dads can enjoy this phase fully and spend quality time with the little one without rushing to office.

Yes, you heard that right! Now fathers can also take time off – it's called parental leave for fathers.

Paternity leave is when a new dad can take time away from work to be with the baby. It can be offered by an employer or required by the government, like the state or central government. Sometimes, dads get paid during this time, but not always, and even when they do, it might not be the full amount they usually earn. Let's take a closer look at this special time for new dads and how it's changing the way families bond with their little ones.

What is Paternity Leave in India? 

Paternity leave is like the employer’s gift for new dads. It's a special time when a father gets to take a break from work and be with his new baby and partner. Imagine you're a dad, and your family just welcomed a baby. Those first few weeks and months are precious. Paternity leave lets you be there during this important time.

Your employer might offer paternity leave as part of your job benefits. Central government employees can take up to 15 days of paternity leave as per the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972. This can be taken either before the baby’s birth or six months of the baby’s birth.

As of now, there is no law mandating paternity leave in the private sector. According to recent surveys, only 14% of Indian companies have policies related to paternity leave. Paternity leave in India for private companies is governed by the company's own policies and regulations.

Eligibility for Paternity Leave for Fathers in India

Check if you, as a father, are eligible for application for paternity leave or not.

  • All male employees welcoming a baby are eligible. Some companies allow paternity leave to people from the LGBT community as well.
  • Applicable for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Typically, it requires a minimum tenure with the employer, which is minimum 80 days.
  • Subject to employer-specific paternity leave policy in India and government regulations.

Why is Paternity Leave for Fathers Important?

Look at the section below to know why paternity leave is super important:

Closing the Gender Gap in Work Laws 

Currently, Indian laws don't offer much when it comes to paternity leave. Dads typically get just 15 days off, while as per the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill that was passed in 2017, mothers can take up to 26 weeks of maternity leave (that's 182 days!).

Need of the Hour

A big section of Indian society still sees men as the ones who bring home the bread and women as the homemakers. This traditional view, however, is undergoing a lot of change. Today, men, too, wish to be an involved part of the family.

Support for Working Parents

When only mothers can take time off from work after having a baby, they often feel pressured to take as much leave as possible. Sadly, if both partners can't take leave, most moms end up quitting their jobs permanently or for months or even years. But in places where both moms and dads can take leave, moms are more likely to keep working.

Helps Moms to Heal

Giving birth is a big deal, and mothers need time to rest and recover afterwards. In the absence of their partners, it can take longer for them to heal, and they may have more health issues in the months after giving birth. Having extra help from the fathers during this time can make a big difference in a new mother’s health.

Healthier Babies

Taking care of a baby is not a cakewalk always. Multiple helping hands mean a healthier baby. Healthier babies mean happier parents, and it's often observed that happy people are more productive. So, paternity leave is beneficial not just for the parents but also for the employers.

Paternity Leave in India: The Road Ahead! 

In India, when it comes to paternity leave, the focus has primarily been on government employees, leaving those in the private sector with less clarity. Recently, the Madras High Court heard a petition from a police inspector who requested paternity leave, but authorities issued a desertion order despite an extension. However, there's a changing trend.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has suggested making paternity leave a formal part of employment regulations in the organised sector. But many private companies are already offering paternity leave, even without any specific paternity leave rules telling them to.

However, paternity leave in India is slowly gaining recognition. It helps bridge gender gaps, challenges stereotypes, supports working parents, aids in maternal recovery, and contributes to the bringing up of healthier babies. While government regulations are evolving, many private companies are already offering this benefit. By setting an example big brands such as Zomato, Wipro, TCS have started offering paternity leaves to their employees.

>> Also Read: Maternity Leave Rules in India 2023

Over to You

As we appreciate the value of paternity leave in India, it's also essential to stress the importance of securing suitable health insurance for your medical needs. The investment complements the support provided by paternity leave and contributes to a healthier and more secure future for your loved ones and yourself.

If you are planning to start a family soon, you must consider securing the health of the mother and child with our  Joy Maternity Health Insurance Plan. Joy is a comprehensive health insurance plan by Care Health Insurance that is very much in line with your needs. The policy offers comprehensive coverage of Rs 3 & 5 Lakh with maternity benefit. The new born can be covered from the day 1 of the birth. For more detail you can request for a call from our expert.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

View Our Editorial Policy

Q. For how many times paternity leaves in India be granted?

Paternity leave is given for the male employees of an organisation for less than two surviving children within 6 months of the childbirth. The leaves can be taken for 15 days either before or after delivery.

Q. Is there any paternity leave application format to follow?

The process of applying for paternity leave for private companies or government undertakings will solely depends on company’s norms. There is no set paternity leave application format as of now as the rule is yet to be mandate. However, a formal mail addressing the concerned person will solve the purpose.

Q. Are paternity leaves paid leaves?

Yes, paternity leaves are paid leaves. Some companies pay full salary while others may pay a percentage of the full salary, depending on the norms.

Q. How many paternity leaves does one get?

There are no fixed days of paternity leaves as it varies from organisation to organisation.

Q. Is paternity leave necessary?

Yes, the father must support the mother and help her in all the chores she can’t perform.

Q. Is paternity leave mandatory in India?

No such law in India mandates paternity leave in the private sector. However, government employees are granted paternity leave.

Q. Why should males be given paid paternity leave?

Father must be granted paid paternity leave to form a connection with his newborn and care for the new mother without worrying about not getting paid for the period he is looking after his family.

Q. Does India have a law for paternity leave?

Currently, there is no law mandating paternity leave in the private sector.


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