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EU to encourage fathers through paid leave


The European Parliament and the Council of Europe have endorsed the proposal of the European Commission, which stipulates for fathers to establish a mandatory single lump-sum care leave for fathers in EU member states, which will last at least ten working days. This was stated by the press service of the European Parliament.


The goal of the project is to encourage men to take on an equal share of responsibilities related to the care of newborns with mothers. According to the recommendation of the European Commission, fathers of newborns should be provided with benefits during their care, which will be adequate or exceed the allowance for temporary disability.


It is worth mentioning that the holidays with the birth of a baby are legalized in most EU member states, but its duration and the amount of benefits associated with it are different. This measure is one of the most important steps on the way to equality between men and women. Northern countries, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland are leaders in terms of paid parental leave. Sweden is the first country to introduce a practice of paternal holidays. It happened in 1974. The society has not made the change so easily, but over time it has become commonplace.
Let us remind that in addition to the 10-day paternity leave offered by the European Commission, many countries also practice longer so-called child-care leave when both mothers and fathers can benefit equally from the paid childcare allowance.


Touching upon the legislation of the Republic of Armenia, it should be noted that the RA Labor Code also provides provisions that allow fathers to take advantage of the targeted child care plan. Perhaps few people know about it, but the law says that both mother and father can benefit from paid leave. According to the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, so far, this provision has been used by single fathers. Experts estimate that, on the one hand, stereotypes prevent fathers from it because of being ashamed of being on a “paternal leave” on the other hand, fear of losing their job

As regards the short-term paternity leave offered by the European Commission immediately after the birth of the child, this issue is regulated only in Article 164 (Annual leave arrangement), which states that “Men’s annual leave is granted at their request during pregnancy and maternity leave.”


According to the United Nations Population Fund’s report on research “Men and Gender Equality in Armenia”, published in 2015-2016, only 12% of men surveyed were involved in the daily care of the child, with only 6% change the baby’s substrates together, 7%  share baby’s bath care, 14% share a task of taking a child to a school or a group, 17%  together help the child while preparing the lesson, while 22% remain with the woman at home when the child is ill, 43%  play or stroll with the child.


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