Nigerian government approves paternity leave for fathers

The Nigerian Government has approved two weeks of paternity leave for new fathers, an approval said to be one of the major reforms introduced to the Nigerian civil service.

Penpushing reports that   the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known at the end of  Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, held in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

The Head of Service recalled that the last time Nigeria reviewed its Public Service Rules (PSR) was in 2008, thus the need for the latest review, and further explained  why the government approved paternity leave.

“Paternity leave is the leave that is approved for men, when their spouses or wives have given birth to a newborn baby; or if the husband and wife have just adopted a baby of less than four months, then the man is entitled to paternity leave of about 14 days’, she said.

“So, that is what has been approved for men. So that the men and their babies also can bond well together.  It’s important because we want the young children and the youth to really bond properly with their fathers, just as they bond well with their mothers’.

“So, this is the time that has been approved now, for men to bond at the early stages, especially at the early stages of a child’s life, that is when it’s very important for this bonding to take place,” she said.

Penpushing further reports that, Nigeria’s current civil service rule allows for four months of maternity leave for new mothers, while a month is given to pregnant mothers before birth and three months after birth, as well as  nursing mothers are also permitted to close early upon resumption until the baby is six months old.

The Head of Service explained that the new additions to the service rules increased its chapters to 17 instead of 16, adding that  the chapter on Annual Performance Evaluation Review (APER) and promotions have been replaced by a new chapter on a newly introduced performance management system.

“There is also a chapter that has also been reinvigorated, that is, the chapter on training. This is an all important chapter because of the importance that training has in the public service’,Yemi-Esan stated

“We also have a new chapter on virtual meetings. You would recall that there was a policy document that was approved by the Federal Executive Council. So we put some of the guidelines from that policy document into the new public service rules. And so we have accepted virtual meetings as a tool to be used in service. And there’s some guidelines there,” she said.

Penpushing also reports that, she explained that workers’ leave is now calculated based on working days, “not on calendar days” ,adding that the new Public Service Rules (PSR) has also introduced the transition from paper service to a digital service

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