26 September 2023

JAMAICA: Majority for paid paternity leave

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More than 90 per cent of Jamaica’s Public Servants are in favour of paid paternity leave, an online survey has revealed.

However, the majority of Millennials surveyed (52 per cent) believed it would be abused if not properly managed, while only 36 per cent of the respondents, classified as Baby Boomers and Generation X, believed that it wouldn’t.

The survey was conducted by the University of the West Indies and had 525 respondents.

A total of 58 per cent of respondents believed that fathers should be able to benefit from paid paternity leave as much as three times in any one employment, while 18 per cent believe it should be one to two times in any one employment.

Just over half of the respondents (52 per cent) believed that fathers should be granted at least six weeks paid paternity leave, whereas 40 per cent believe it should be between three to four weeks.

Roughly half of the Millennials surveyed believed that the benefits of paid paternity leave would lead to greater family responsibility through shared parenting and would provide support for a stable home environment.

Some 38 per cent believed the benefits would be critical bonding time, which would lead to improvements in family life.

Head of the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute at the University of the West Indies, Danny Roberts (pictured) said the study had been more generational than gender-focused “to get a glimpse into an area of demographic behaviour that could provide better understanding of life course trajectories”.

He said the study provided the opportunity for policy shifts that addressed cultural issues and stereotypical mindsets across genders.

“Even in the United States, where no paternity leave exists at the Federal level, more companies are introducing paid paternity leave to encourage fathers to be more meaningfully involved in their child’s life,” Mr Roberts said.

Kingston, 12 April 2020

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