After reading some of the comments made on the e-mail I would like to give my pennies worth.
Being a mother I can speak from experience!
Yes I would say the farther should get specific "paternity leave' apart from the companionate/ special leave granted to employees.
New farther can take 3 days once the baby and mother has been discharged from hospital.
He too needs to learn how to cope with a baby in the house and with his wife?s new role as mother.
Then he will understand when she says she is needs a bit of rest "cause he had to go through the changes too.
New farther will then have a bit more of an understanding of why it isn?t so easy to just carry on with your old ways (having friends over for a quick social is inconvenient when baby has been up all night and had a tough day).
I will also support the idea of paid maternity leave.
Yes I was fortunate the company I worked for at the time of my maternity leave gave 70 working days paid maternity leave (all your normal benefits carried on).
This was a major help cause I didn?t have the stress about accounts that had to be paid and I knew there was no money.
Even the medical aid I had reassurance that all was in place while I just had to take care of the baby.
Ladies that has to go on maternity leave and the employer contributes nothing in the long run losses more than just the 4 months of not having the person at work.
9/10 times these ladies search for alternative employment while on maternity leave. Employers then loose that persons experience and skill for ever!!
Unfortunately the UIF system in RSA needs some fine tuning.
New mom?s only receive the UIF payment in the 5th month of maternity leave, this is way to late and it is so little that the poor parents will for a long long time struggle to get back on their feet with regards to dept or late payments. Not until the UIF system undergoes a major change this will not work.
My suggestion would be, paid maternity leave (maybe limit them to 4 months and should you want to extend it to 6 then it is unpaid and the mother must cope with this then).
Employers can ensure that the employee comes back by signing a contract with that lady to commit to work 2 years or should she wish to leave their employment that money paid to her will be reimbursed ( so the employer either gets the work time from that person or their money back).
Paternity leave for new farthers (3 -5 days) only after the mother and baby has been discharged.
Hope this helps with the meeting in March.