GEL INTRODUCES PATERNITY LEAVE ACROSS 24 COUNTRIES

Communities are built on strong families and strong families mean that parents – both parents – have to play their roles in the rearing of their children.” This was the strong message delivered by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations in Barbados, Colin Jordan at the launch of the Paternity Leave Policy for Goddard Enterprises Ltd (GEL) on Father’s Day 2020.

Labelled as ‘A Gift from Goddards on Father’s Day‘, the new policy was launched with two videos – one from the CEO of Goddard Enterprises Ltd Anthony Ali and the other from the Minister of Labour Hon. Colin Jordan.

In explaining the reason why GEL decided to formulate the policy, <strong>Anthony Ali </strong>explained "<em>Goddard's believes that it is extremely important that our company helps to develop society and contribute in any way that it can, so we wanted to ensure that fathers participate in the development of their children. That initial period when the child is born or when the child is adopted, that bonding is extremely important. It happens with the mother and should also happen with the father. When we develop the children, we develop the society</em>," he added.

In explaining the reason why GEL decided to formulate the policy, Anthony Ali explained “Goddard’s believes that it is extremely important that our company helps to develop society and contribute in any way that it can, so we wanted to ensure that fathers participate in the development of their children. That initial period when the child is born or when the child is adopted, that bonding is extremely important. It happens with the mother and should also happen with the father. When we develop the children, we develop the society,” he added.

The policy, which was rolled out across all 24 countries in the GEL network in the Caribbean, Central and South America, gives fathers two weeks paid leave on the birth of their child but also includes clauses for those adopting children and for those who become parents through surrogacy. Paternity leave can be requested for any time within the first six months following the birth or adoption of the child.

Maternity leave is granted to female employees in accordance with local legislation in their respective countries.

The policy was lauded by the Minister of Labour as he stated that organisations working together to develop these kinds of policies augured well for the development of the society as a whole. He also confirmed that government is presently in the process of formulating a paternity leave policy as well.

Anthony Ali also added that GEL wanted fathers to participate in the rearing of their children, because most fathers are viewed as role models, protectors and providers, but they needed to be seen as nurturing parents that help to solidify the fabric of society.

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