My Husband’s Tech Company Gave Him 6 Weeks of Paid Paternity Leave


Israel Has No Paid Paternity Leave

The traditional parent roles are shifting. Moms don’t want (or family cannot afforded) to miss out on a career; Dad’s today don’t want to miss out on family life and are more involved parents. But when it comes to paid leave after baby is born, in almost all countries, the law provides paid maternity leave, while paid paternity leave is a rarity. In Israel, Paid Paternal leave is a round zero. Israel’s national social security agency provides women with 15 weeks of paid leave.

Some companies are filling in this gap by providing their male employees paid paternity leave on their expense. Some companies, provide this perk to all of their employees across genders and regardless of country law.

Emotional help —”We’re In This Together”

My husband being home on paternity leave, helped me tremendously on an emotional level.

I felt he had my back completely; That we are on this journey together. In those first few weeks, this is exactly the feeling you need from your partner.

Another adult around —From working for a company and being around adults most of the day, I was thrown into baby land. Diapers, rocking, feeding, bathing.. Having my husband around, meant I can talk to an adult. I didn’t even have a chance to feel lonely 🙂

Calmness- A new baby in the family can be stressful. My husband not working meant he didn’t have any work to deal with. That definitely took off stress and freed up time to take care of all of our household needs. This calmness also meant less arguing and bickering at each other 🙂

Physical Help — “What Do You Do All Day?”

A friend of ours snickered at my husband after founding out he was on paternity leave: “What do you do all day?”.

So yeah, I am fully capable of taking care of the baby myself. Also, if only one of us gets leave, I agree that it should be me. But just because I could do it alone, doesn’t mean I should.

Helped with the baby– Even though he couldn’t help out with the feedings, there was still a lot to do! A newborn human infant needs to be- held, rocked, bathed, changed..

Spent quality time with our older kids– being home he was able to pick up our two older kids from kindergarten every day. This gave me extra quiet time with our newborn.

Took care of the mundane household chores– laundry, dishes, dealt with bureaucracy.

He’s back at work, I’m home. now what?

He’s back at work, while I’m still at home for a more extended leave. I’m now doing more in terms of caring for our baby and household chores, but I’m ok with that. Every couple needs to be happy with their division of the roles and chores. I believe the more free choice (societal and economical) couples have at determining this for themselves, the better.

Early on participation- With a new baby there is lot of information to learn/re-learn. Being there the first few weeks he was encouraged to learn with me and to be an involved caregiver together with me. Will this make him more involved in the future? Hopefully 🙂 Research has found that yes.

Gender Equality

Women and men experience a divergence in their careers after becoming a parent. Men become more desirable and women less so. Men typically remain in full-time work and women leave full-time work. Women also generally take on more of the childcare responsibilities even when back at work. This hinders upon their career progression and salary.

Can granting or forcing paternity leave help with this career inequality?

Maybe it can help to a certain extent. It can cause fathers to take on more of the burden at home. Perhaps it can also help by normalizing taking leave in general and thus not penalize those who do. But could and should men and women be completely equal?

For me, I enjoy my unique roles – I love being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding, being a mom. So while I don’t want to give any of those up, I still want my husband to be as involved as he can. I want as much free choice (societal economical and spousal) as possible when it comes to division of breadwinning, house chores and child rearing.

Final Thoughts

While research shows paternity leave is — good for baby, dad, mom and company, fathers still face economic and social barriers that keep them from taking longer paternity leaves.

For some companies it may not be financially viable to provide several weeks of full wages during parental leave. So if we want all fathers to have at least some form of paid paternal leave, it will need to be government funded.

Will more companies and governments provide fathers with paid leave? With Israel having the highest fertility rate in the OECD, providing extended paternity leave to fathers may not be feasible in the near future.

In the meantime, I am so grateful to Forter for this amazing benefit. They helped ease our transition to a family of 5 in a way I couldn’t even dream of! They also provide their employees with a Sunday off every other week. This also helps their employees find a balance between life/family/hobbies and work duties.

Empowering dads with paid parental leave enables them to be the supportive fathers and partners they should be.

Previously Published on medium


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