Access Bank Approves Paternity Leave For Male Employees

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Access Bank Plc has introduced one week fully paid paternity leave for its male employees. This is to allow the male bankers to spend some quality time with the new addition to their families while supporting the spouses who need the break. The lender, in a statement yesterday, announced that starting from January  2018, its male employees can take advantage of the enhanced new parental leave policy that extends paid benefits to all mothers and fathers and offers paid leave to all new parents at Access Bank, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents.
The bank stated that the new policy, which is the first by a Nigerian bank, is aimed at fostering an inclusive workplace, adding that it includes surrogacy or adoptive leave with full pay for three calendar months for female employees in its employ.
It further stated that these benefits supplement the 12 weeks of paid leave it currently provides to birth mothers, adding that the policy also complements the bank’s existing health and flexible workplace benefits, which support work-life balance.
Commenting on the new policy, Head, Group Human Resources at Access Bank, Bolaji Agbede, said paid parental leave allows parents to truly bond with their new child, balance their work schedule and help reduce conflict with parental obligations.
“Studies have shown that fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to take an active role in child care tasks and will continue to play this role long after the period of leave has ended.
“It is important for the new father to take time off as it helps all parents, regardless of family structure. This new policy is an evidence of the bank’s support to employees during this wonderful, but challenging time in their lives,” she added.
Agbede explained that a pregnant employee who has been in the bank’s employment for 12 consecutive months also has the option of six calendar months maternity leave with two-thirds of full month pay, while the surrogacy or adoptive leave period is three calendar months with full pay or six calendar months leave with two-thirds of full month pay.
It will be recalled that Lagos State in 2014 approved a 10-day paternity leave for any male civil servant in the state whose wife delivers a new baby.
The measure is to afford them the opportunity of attending to developmental needs of the child.
Similarly, in 2015, the Enugu State government announced the granting of three weeks paternity leave to male civil servants whose wives put to bed.
Paternity leave is defined as a period of paid absence from work to which a man is legally entitled immediately after the birth (or adoption) of his child.
In the United Kingdom, the paternity leave is currently two weeks while in Canada, men get a couple of days off, as negotiated with their individual employers.

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