New fathers, like mothers, will soon be able to get time off to help take care of their newborn infants. The Knesset passed Wednesday, on its first reading, a bill that will give fathers eight days off in order to help out at home. The bill was authored by Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg, and received support from MKs in Likud, Shas, Kulanu and other parties.
In addition to eight post-birth days off, fathers will be entitled to three days off ahead of the birth, in order to go with their wives on doctor’s visits, etc.
Despite the fact that Israel has the highest birth rate among Western countries, it is one of the few that has not instituted paternity leave. Fathers who wish to take time off before or after the birth of their children have had to tap into vacation or sick days.
Speaking to the Knesset Channel, Zandberg said that “times have changed. This bill will bring Israel in line with all advanced countries, allowing fathers time with the family at the birth of their children.”