Posted by News Express | 18 July 2014 | 4,367 times
As a way to encourage good parenting among its workforce, the Lagos State Government on Thursday extended the maternity leave of its female employees by three months bringing it to a total of six months, to enable them give the required attention to their newborn babies in their first few months of life.
The policy, which is in line with the state’s policy of exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, would enable mothers take proper care of their babies and recoup well from the stress of child birth before resuming work “so that both the mother and the child would have been strong enough to withstand the expected temporary separations that would be witnessed when the mother goes back to work.”
Also, and for the first time in the country, the government has granted a 10 Working Days Paternity Leave for male employees who may want to join their wives to achieve good parenting. However, both the extension of maternity and the 10-day paternity leaves would apply only for the first two births of the couple, after which the female employees revert to the old three months while the male employee ceases to enjoy such privilege.
Briefing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, on the new policy recently approved by the State Executive Council, the Head of Service, Mrs. Josephine Oluseyi Williams, said that the review of the leave policy was informed by government’s conviction that the inability of parents to adequately fulfil their parental role due to extensive work life account for some social ills in the society.
The Head of Service said that chief among the consequences of extensive work life of career officers in the public service was the reduced attention by such parents to the basic developmental needs of their infants especially during the first six months, adding that Medical Science, she said, has proved that the first few months of a child’s life play a very great role in the physical, mental and emotional development of the child.
The new leave gesture by government, Mrs. Williams explained, was further informed by the fact that nursing mothers leave their children in the hands of day-care nannies at such tender age of six weeks adding that the level of concentration of such a nursing mother at her desk would be nothing to write home about.
“However, at six months (24 weeks), 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/her life,” she said.
The HOS urged all nursing parent-employees in the state public service to utilise the privilege to devote fuller attention to their children “thereby promoting emotional bonding between them and their children when it matters most.” She enjoined them to remain dedicated and productive in their various beats and schedules.
Mrs. Williams appealed to other employers of labour in the state to emulate the gesture of the State Government “in order to advance a balanced family work life with the ultimate intent of having future leaders who, as neonates, had enjoyed parental care and affection.”
Earlier, in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, said that the intention of the State Government was to build a dedicated workforce that would not only contribute meaningfully to the development of the state but would also be responsive to their family and domestic responsibilities.
Also present at the occasion were the Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina; Permanent Secretary, Public Service Commission, Mr. Lekan Akodu; his Ministry of Health and Establishment, Training and Pension counterparts, Dr. Omodele Oshunkiyesi; and Mrs. Shade Jaji respectively, as well as Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello.
•Text courtesy of Channels TV. Photo shows Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola.
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