Petition filed to have Kenyan men granted three months paternity leave


A Kenyan doctor has filed a petition seeking to have men’s paternity leave increased to 90 days equal to the normal maternity leave women get. Currently men get two weeks off work once their spouse bears them a child.

The Nakuru based doctor by the name Dr Magare Kigenyi, has argued that it is discriminatory to give men a short term leave while their fellow female colleagues are given up to three-month fully paid leave after child bearing.

The Nakuru based doctor further argues that fathers play an equally important role in their child’s life as mothers do.

The argument provided by the alleged doctor is that “The differentiation/discrimination of duration of maternal and paternal leaves is not a fair differentiation. The matter being determined is not just a mere discrimination of an individual employee, but it’s a large-scale discrimination which will have impact on the number of employees in an organization and that the 1st few days of life are important for child development,” as reported by Citizen TV.

“This matter is of public interest and therefore it is imperative that this matter be placed before the court and orders and directions issued accordingly to preserve and safeguard public interests,” he added.

After Justice Jacob Kageri was in recipient of the file he directed the respondents, including the Attorney General, to file their responses within 21 days. Justice Kageri also ruled the matter as not urgent.

Constitutionally, employees are entitled to fully paid maternity as far as they offer a written notice of not less than seven days in advance.

It’s good to note the law, also does not have a stipulated limit of maternity leave depending on the complexity of the pregnancy and the duration of the notice requesting maternity leave also varies depending on the pregnant mother’s circumstances.

If fathers, however, wish to extend their paternity leave, the law stipulates that they must get into agreement with their companies and may, therefore suffer salary reductions.

This petition has attracted different perspectives within the Kenyan community featuring the employers and employees of this country.


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