Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has approved sixmonths maternity leave for female public servants who just gave birth to new born babies.
The six months maternity leave shall be for the first two babies to be delivered by any female civil servant, while on giving birth to the third baby, the maternity leave would be reduced to three months.
At a news conference on Thursday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, the Head of Service, Josephine Williams, said the government has approved 24 weeks maternity leave with full pay in the case of a nursing mother’s first two deliveries, saying that the said leave shall commence at least two weeks before the expected delivery date.
She added that a male officer to whom a new baby (or babies in case of multiple births) is born shall be entitled to 10 working days paternity leave in relation to and at the time of his spouse’s first two deliveries.
“Any third and subsequent deliveries by any employee shall only attract 12 weeks maternity leave for female officers, while the male officer shall not be entitled to paternity leave in that circumstance.
“In other words, leave entitlement in respect of the third and subsequent children of an employee shall be in line with the extant (now old) maternity leave regulations. It would be recalled that in the old dispensation, female officers were entitled to only 12 weeks maternity leave at every point of delivery, while male officers do not enjoy paternity leave. The 12 weeks were to be taken six weeks before and six weeks after delivery,” she said.
According to Williams, the new leave gesture by government was further informed by the fact that nursing mothers leave their children in the hands of carers at such tender age of six weeks and that one could not imagine the level of concentration to expect from such an employee at her desk.
“However, at six months, a baby is considered strong enough to be left in a decent crèche for proper care having gone through close affection and nurturing by the mother for those very important and delicate first few months of his or her life,” she stated.
“While it is hoped that nursing parent-employees in Lagos State Public Service would utilise this privilege to devote fuller attention to their children, thereby promoting emotional bonding between parent and children when it matters the most, all public officers are again enjoined to remain dedicated and productive in their various beats and schedules,” she added.
Williams said the new policy took effect immediately, saying government is appealing to other employers of labour to take a cue from this lofty policy in order to advance a balanced family-work life.