The Senate on Monday passed a bill that not only increases paid maternity leave of working mothers but also grants paid paternity leave.
The Senate, for the first time in the country, passed paid Paternity leave bill along with Maternity leaves.
The bill makes it mandatory for employers to grant six-months paid maternity leave and three-months paid paternity leave.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Quratulain Marri moved the bill on private members’ day that passed by the house with majority of vote.
While the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government opposed to the bill.
The bill will now go to the National Assembly for another parliamentary scrutiny — a mandatory requirement to become a law.
The Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill says that employees of every establishment shall be provided six months paid maternity and three months paternity leave “as and when applied” by them.
Establishments include any public or private organization, corporation, autonomous or semi-autonomous body, and any corporate body or enterprise.
On their demand, the employees shall also be provided with an additional three months optional unpaid maternity and one month paternity leave, separately from their leave account.
The government opposing the bill said that such lengthy maternity leave was not allowed in any part of the world and 90 days leave for working mothers is already permitted under the law.
Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar said that such a lengthy paternity leave could not be granted while mothers already allowed to avail 90 days maternity leave.
The bill says that leave will be separated from annual leave account (earned leave) of employees and commence from the date as applied by the applicant and supported by a medical certificate.