Back to glossary

What is paternity leave?

Table of contents

Paternity leave is a type of leave given to employees – either fathers or other secondary caregivers – who just became parents of a new child, either through birth or adoption. This time is granted to give the secondary caregiver time to bond with the new child.

Paternity leave tends to be included as part of a benefits package. It’s often treated as other types of leave – like sick days or vacation. An employee may need to fill out paperwork or submit the relevant documentation to request the time off.

How long is paternity leave?

Length of paternity leave will depend on country’s laws and the employer’s own policies. In some countries, paternity leave is legally required to be several weeks. In other countries, it’s not required at all and may be completely at the employer’s discretion.

Is paternity leave paid?

Paternity leave can be paid, partially paid, or unpaid, depending on the country and the employer’s own policies. For example, some companies may offer additional paternity leave in addition to what’s legally required as part of their benefits package.

Paternity leave vs maternity leave

Paternity leave and maternity leave tend to be treated differently, with maternity leave usually better compensated and longer.

Shared parental leave is used in some countries to offset the inequality that can arise from the disparity in length. Shared parental leave may give parents a chance to share the time off.

Paternity leave for a global workforce

Local laws and customs surrounding paternity leave will differ from country to country. Companies need to be privy to this while still ensuring their own company culture surrounding paternity leave is reflected equally, regardless of where their employees are based.

All this requires extensive knowledge regarding local regulations, cultural expectations, and budgetary needs.

One way to go about meeting these requirements is through a payroll and payments solution, which can provide local expertise as well as budgetary and automation capabilities.

Lady in green Lady in green

Benefits of unified payroll payments

Free white paper: how enterprises can streamline global payroll at scale

Download Here