Jersey dads get a giant paternity leave boost

Dads on the Channel island said they want more time with their kids so legislators have just changed the law so they can take more leave.


Think Jersey think cows, cream and, now, cracking parental leave policies.

Working dads on the largest of the Channel Islands have a new perk to go along with not really paying much tax – generous paternity leave.

The Channel island’s parliament has just voted to boost paid paternity leave from two weeks to six weeks.

And parents can split 52 weeks of leave in up to three blocks over two years. Crucially the previous entitlement in Jersey was just six months. So by doubling it and opening up more of the leave to be shared with dads they are not taking any allowance away from mums.

Legislators are responding to demand among working dads in Jersey. A recent survey on the island found dads want to be able to have more time with their newborn children.

The States Assembly – Jersey’s parliament – voted 38-6 in favour of the new rules.

Impact on employers

The proposition to change the law on parental leave, made by social security minister Judy Martin, had previously faced some opposition in the States Assembly – Jersey’s parliament. Concerns were raised about negative impacts on employers.

The law should come into force between June and July 2020. The States Assembly also voted to approve a review of the policy after 24 months.

Announcing the changes Martin said: “This extension of employment rights is progressive and inclusive.

“Our proposed changes to the law follow consultation with employers and employees, undertaken by the Employment Forum in 2017. We want to improve the situation for parents in the workplace, giving families more choice and flexibility to help meet their work and family responsibilities. The changes we are proposing will also encourage gender balance in childcare roles.

“The 2016 Jersey Lifestyle and Opinions Survey found that around two-thirds of men had not taken any parental leave at all. 92 percent of men said they would have liked to have taken more leave. We hope that by providing longer defined periods of leave for each parent, both parents will be able to take an equal part in parental responsibility and encourage a culture change in local workplaces.”

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