The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the right to 14-day paternity leave for federal civil servants to allow them bond with their infants.

This was disclosed to State House Correspondents on Wednesday by the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, after the week’s virtual FEC meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Dr Yemi-Esan explained that the paternity leave initiative is one of the introductions to the newly reviewed Public Service Rules (PSR), which was just approved by FEC, which she said was revised last in 2008.

Speaking on the need for the paternity leave to be an item in the revised PSR, Chief Civil Servant said this is to enable for proper bonding between the father and a new born babies, especially at the early stages of the child’s life.

Dr Yemi -Esan further explained that fathers of adopted babies of less than four months will also enjoy this gesture.

“We’ve also gotten approval to include paternity leave. This is something that is new. And this is something that the unions in the service asked that we include, and luckily, we’ve been able to include it.

“We’ve also been able to ensure that leave now is calculated based on working days, not on calendar days, that also has been approved.

“We also have introduced the transition from paper service to a digital service. So, these are some of the new things that are in the new PSR that has just been approved by the federal executive council,” she explained.

Explaining more on the paternity leave and those qualified to benefit from it, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation said: “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.

“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 really to bond properly with their fathers, just as they bond well with their mothers.

“So, this is the first 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.

Also asked whether the revised Public Service Rules covers the removal of dichotomy between HND and Degree holders, she said, “on the discrepancies between HND, and degree programme, its in the scheme of service that this will be reflected not in the PSR. It’s the scheme of service that describes entry points and things like that.

“And currently we’re reviewing the scheme of service, it’s just that we did this first, and then we’ll do the scheme of service. So that’s where that will be reflected,” she assured.

Written By Obioma Ezenwobodo Esq

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