Back in September 26th my third daughter, Lea, was born. Since then I’ve been enjoying the very generous paternity leave provided by my employer, Automattic.
They offer six months of fully paid paternity leave to any employee that works in the company for more than one year, independently of their location in the world. This is very generous, comparing to my previous paternity leaves for my other daughters.
When Sara was born, I was living in Portugal, and the government there provides you with two weeks paternity leave when your child is born followed by one month after the maternity leave is completed. In both of these periods, you receive your regular salary.
Sofia was born in the UK, and because I was only working for the company three months I didn’t get any paternity leave! But even if I was entitled to it at the time, the UK government only mandates (https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave) one week of paternity leave, and you only get statutory paternity pay, around £145 a week.
I think paternity leave should improve in all countries in terms of time and payment. The increase of time will allow fathers to be more involved in their kids’ initial development and also to help the mothers in the tiring first months. The rise in pay will make the decision about who stays at home more about what is better for the parents and baby instead of the financial constraints.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the time with my new baby, seeing her smile for the first time, giving her baths, go for walks with her and my wife, be able to have time with my other daughters during the day and help them out at school.
All this make me a better parent and I hope that in the future more companies and governments follow Automattic steps.