Since Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he would be donating a substantial amount of money and taking an extended paternity leave, the subject of “leave of absence” has become a popular one. Oftentimes when a couple has a child, the mother gets a paid leave to be home with the child and the father goes back to work. However, in an age where mom and dad play equal roles in the household, why are fathers left out of this important bonding time?
Many companies throughout the United States are now pondering the idea of “paternity leave.” Of course, women also get this leave, but it would allow for fathers to get to take some time off to spend with their newborn and help their significant other with the task of caring for a baby.
What is paternity leave?
Paternity leave is time allotted by a workplace for a father of a newborn to take off from work. Many companies are allowing one to two weeks paternity leave for the men working for them, however, some companies are allowing extended leaves due to the simple fact that having a newborn is difficult.
There is only one problem. Many companies do not offer this leave as a paid leave of absence. They are simply offering it as an unpaid leave. Well, not many men (in good conscience) can simply take off for a week or two without pay when they recently had a child. There are a few progressive companies that offer paid (and extended paternity leaves).
Generally, paternity leave starts the day that the baby is born and ends a number of weeks (usually one to two) after the baby is born. The leave is designed to give the father time with the child and time to adjust to life with a baby. Oftentimes new fathers who continue to work are less focused because of the stresses of having a newborn. In addition to the stress, many believe that bonding between fathers and their children is just as important as bonding with the mother.
What companies offer paid paternity leave?
The following companies offer paid leaves for new fathers:
- Reddit: 17 weeks
- Facebook: 16 weeks
- Bank of America: 12 weeks
- Yahoo: eight weeks
- Patagonia: eight weeks
- Google: seven weeks
- Twitter: six weeks
- Arnold and Porter: six to 18 weeks
- Comcast: four weeks
- Microsoft: four weeks
- Trip Advisor: four weeks
- McKinsey and Co: four weeks
- Covington and Burling LLP: four weeks
- PricewaterhouseCoopers: three weeks
- Deloitte: three weeks
- Discovery Communications: three weeks
- Fannie Mae: 20 days
- Wal-Mart: two weeks
- Ernst and Young: two to six weeks
Paternity leave has been known to seem a little “feminine” for some time. However, it seems more men are willing (46 percent of men to be exact) to take the leave and spend time at home with their families. Less men feel the need (and the pressure) to go to work during the few weeks after he has a newborn because of the ability to take leave.