Civil servants to get more time with newborns

| 13/03/2024 | 39 Comments

(CNS): New mothers who work for the civil service will in future enjoy an additional four weeks of maternity leave, up from 90 working days to 110, with an increase in the paid portion from 30 working days on normal pay to 60 days.

New fathers will now get 20 working days of paternity leave, up from two working weeks, with an increase in the paid portion from one week to ten working days on normal pay.

Cabinet has issued drafting instructions to change the Personnel Regulations to enhance the overall benefits package for new parents who work in the civil service. The law does not cover public sector workers in statutory authorities or government companies

According to a government press release, the change will give new parents valuable time and additional financial support while they are establishing those all-important initial bonds with their infants. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who took the paper to Cabinet, praised policymakers for improving the circumstances for both women and men within the civil service who are starting or growing their families.

“This enhancement recognises the importance of shared parenting responsibilities, enabling both mothers and fathers to actively participate in childcare,” he said. “This contributes to better work-life balance, strengthens family bonds, and helps break traditional gender roles. Ultimately, such policies promote a more equitable society, aligning with the spirit of Honouring Women Month.”

Minister Katherine Ebanks-Wilks endorsed and co-championed the policy. “As minister of gender affairs and as a working mother of three children, I’m beyond proud of the advancements this change to the Personnel Regulations will bring. This increased parental leave entitlement is a significant step forward in supporting families. It recognises the value of parents spending critical time at home with their young children,” she said.

“This change acknowledges the crucial role that both parents play in caregiving and child-rearing. This is an acceptance of the diversity of the family structure, the economic and social needs of our community, and the physical and psychological needs of young children. By recognising and supporting the shared responsibility of caregiving, regardless of gender, we are not only promoting gender equality and equity, but also dismantling traditional stereotypes,” the minister added.

She said that it fostered “an inclusive environment where all individuals are afforded the opportunity and flexibility to balance work and family obligations. This will not only strengthen our families, but will also build a more resilient and prosperous Cayman Islands for generations to come.”

Deputy Chief Officer Lauren Knight and Policy Analyst Renita Barnes from the Portfolio of the Civil Service undertook preliminary work to make the initial outcome possible and will see the project through to the implementation of the amendments, the release said.

The increase in maternity and paternity leave exceeds the requirements of the Labour Law and the statutory provisions in the private sector, where new mothers are entitled to 14 calendar weeks in any twelve-month period only after one full year of employment.

Employers are legally required to offer just 20 working days of maternity leave on full pay, 20 on half pay and 30 without pay. While some employers choose to give better benefits to new mothers and fathers, there is no requirement in the law to give paternity leave, paid or otherwise.

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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (39)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    But this does not apply to civil servants who work for the HSA. It’s embarrassing, an authority who is suppose to take care of the health of their population but cannot even take care of their own.

  2. Cayman Kind says:

    A remark above was that this is a catch up initiative vis a vis private sector leaders. A survey of the practice in the private sector would be very leading + a look at the nations that lead in this area and the advantages of this approach. It seems only natural to assume that mothers and parents generally should spend substantial and quality time with their babies, and that allowances for breast feeding on return to the workplace should be common place. As on of the most important roles to society it seems only right that this time be compensated.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It really doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Get what you can get — ALL that you can get — and hope for more. Grab and go. To hell with your neighbours. To hell with your coworkers. Get yours. Get it. Get it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If cig offered 3pm school pickup, and supervised care in the admin cafeteria, there might a 5%increase in productivity.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is going to cost the NAU a lot of money.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stop having kids you can’t afford or have the inclination to care for. If you think they’ll care for you in your retirement you’re sorely mistaken.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All of you salty ass private sector workers always complain whenever something is done for the public sector.

    If it so shitty that side why don’t you become a civil servant? Besides, you all get commission bonuses and tips, we don’t yet we still tip you.

    For the record I’m a civil servant near 30 and both I and my partner have decided to remain child-free, so this isn’t a benefit across the board. The economy is shit, imported poverty making it so that we can’t save up due to high rent, and gentrification by rich foreigners make it so that we’ll never afford a nest for eggs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you get it? EVERYone who is able to grab the golden ring does so. Without hesitation. The rest of us labour for your benefit.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This increased parental leave entitlement is a significant step forward in supporting [government employed only] families.

    In much of the rest of the world maternity/paternity leave is paid by the government, however it applies to all citizens.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is so shameless. Why do civil servants get this but the rest of us in the private sector (who fund CIG) are stuck with lesser benefits. Civil servants already had more maternity pay than required by the law.

    Just more vote buying.

  10. WBW Czar. says:

    What about us childless people? Oh yeah we get hosed.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So Julie can bankrupt Cayman. She so do loves spending other people’s money. She has to go. NOW.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many people do you think are having kids? This is a good thing and should be forced on the private sector as well.

      A healthy childhood benefits society in the longer run. Absent parents do not.

      Baby mama cultural connoisseurs probably don’t get that.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Completely worth it.

    Long term benefits far out weigh the short term cost.

    Now, just to stop the women getting knocked up by deadbeats.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What about persons in civil partnerships? Men will only get 20 days even if they are the primary carer.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Playing catch up with the private sector leaders in this regard.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great, more CS baby mammas coming our way.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Welfare State!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Civil Servants getting more rewards for less service!!

  18. Natascha says:

    Good progress but it should all be fully paid and this needs to be a part of the labor law for all businesses. Look at the studies on newborns and parents and the recovery time for a woman after giving birth, mother’s should have 6 months and they need help. Fathers should have the same but minimum half of that at 3 months (fully paid).

    • Fred says:

      That would seriously harm the prospects for employment of younger women of child bearing age. Employers would prefer the 40+s (or even 45+).

      Look at it from their point of view. A female joins your staff, gets pregnant and within 9 months you’re on the for 6 months wages to her without any value back. The only way it works is for payment to be largely backed by Govt. reimbursement.

      There is nothing new here. Other countries have been through this process. Follow the ones with arrangements that appear successful and agreeable to all parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      And who is going to pay for that?!

      Do you realize that even in countries like Canada the employer does not offer 6 months paid leave. It is funded out of Employment Insurance which every employee has to pay forever. Do you want to start paying that every pay cheque?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Still not enough but it’s a start I guess.

  20. Anonymous says:

    why only civil servants??
    just more expense and cayman another step closer to a full welfare state

    • Anonymous says:

      Why only civil servants? – Because our employers are mean-spirited. (Remember, any employer can give more than the legal minimum now. Why don’t they? Aren’t you and your babies important enough? (Which is the question for the politicians, & Chamber of Commerce, why they haven’t raised the national minimums?))

      • Anonymous says:

        If you were my employee with your attitude, I’d fire you. But then I wouldn’t need to because you’d try to use up all your sick days within the first two weeks of hiring.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is wonderful, the Honorable Premier knows how to stimulate the largest voting block in Cayman. Let the good times roll while the rest of us working slobs have to fight it out with all the illegal buy permit people running around all over the island looking for jobs. Thank goodness the esteemed labor minister is on top of things.

  21. Anonymous says:

    what about parents who adopt a child? is it the same?

    or is there something else entirely different that speaks to adoptions?


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