EMPLOYER ACTION CODE: ACT
The Cypriot parliament has passed the Protection of Paternity Law, providing new fathers with statutory paternity leave and allowances from the Social Insurance Fund for the first time. The law provides fathers (including those adopting a child up to age 12) with two consecutive weeks of paid leave. Previously, the only family leave for the father was unpaid parental leave of up to a maximum of 18 weeks, and only if the mother returned to work. The new provision applies to all fathers with children born or placed for adoption on or after August 1, 2017.
Key details on the new provision include:
- New fathers will be entitled to two consecutive weeks of leave.
- Leave must be taken within the first 16 weeks of the birth or adoption of the child. The exact timing of leave within this period will be at the employee’s choosing.
- Employees are required to provide their employer with two weeks’ written notice of their intention to take leave.
- Eligibility is based on the same social security requirements that apply for most other Cypriot social security benefits.
- A paternity leave allowance will be provided from the Social Insurance Fund and calculated on the same basis as the maternity allowance. Employees who receive salary from their employer during leave will not be entitled to receive the allowance.
- During leave, the father will be awarded the same level of employment and social security protection as is already provided to employees on maternity leave.
Very few employers have traditionally provided any supplemental leave for fathers in excess of statutory requirements for parental leave and are encouraged to review their existing leave policies to ensure that they comply with the new legislation.