Armenia to implement paternity leave for fathers of newborns
Now, Armenian men can get paid paternity leave, although for now, it is only five days within the first month of their child’s birth.
The bill was passed on September 16.
The amendments also affects mothers and provides some additional security – now, if a woman gives birth to a child and does not take leave, then her payment and working conditions cannot become less favorable for the next year. Previously, this obligation was valid for only a month.
Discussions of the amendments
“Paternity leave will be provided to fathers at their request, and their salary for each day of vacation will be based on the average daily salary”, explained Tsovinar Vardanyan, author of the amendments and ruling My Step Faction MP, during the September 9 discussions.
Vardanyan says that many countries provide leave for new fathers. In Armenia, only large international firms guarantee paid paternity leave.
“In addition, everyone knows that after the birth of a child, many fathers are given paid days off so that they can see the child and get certain things in order”, Vardanyan said.
Armenian men will be able to take paid paternity leave starting January 1, 2021.
The amendments also affected mothers who are caring for a newborn child without maternity leave.
“According to the proposed changes, throughout the entire period of caring for a child under the age of one year old, the conditions of her work cannot be changed to less favorable, with the exception of changing the name or classification of her position”.
Vardanyan says that the adopted amendments reduce the legal grounds on which such mothers can be fired. For example, while employers used to be able to dismiss new mothers by saying they were “inappropriate for the position” or that they were “absent from work throughout the day”, now these justifications cannot be used.
Social media commentary
Armenian Facebook users reacted positively overall to the news about paternal leave. Here are some characteristic comments:
“Five days is not a lot, but at least it’s something”.
“Sometimes I look after our kid, but 95% of the time, my husband does it. In our company, for example, they give us a month of paid leave. But nowhere is it written that it’s specifically to take care of a child. It’s as if to say there that we understand that you have a baby and you are not able to concentrate on work, so you better take a vacation”.
“Perfect solution! It’s a pity that there are so few vacation days given. After your child is born, you should try as much as possible to help your wife, to support her. And when people respond by saying this isn’t a manly thing to do, that woman should take care of children – I don’t understand and don’t accept these statements!”
“A strange phrase – an Armenian man on maternity leave. This is, of course, unusual for Armenia. But this will probably change too. We’re not living in the 15th century, after all”.
“I’m against it. Women should take care of children. We can help them out. But it seems strange to me to take days off to do so”.