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October 27, 2013 1:13 pm

New Bill to Give Israeli Fathers Eight Days of Paid Paternity Leave

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A baby wearing many items of winter clothing: headband, cap, fur-lined coat, wool neckscarf and sweater. Photo: wiki commons. A Knesset committee has approved a bill that will grant new fathers in Israel eight days of paternity leave.

The bill, which was submitted by MK Tamar Zandberg, from the left-leaning party Meretz, enjoys support from across the political spectrum including the right-leaning party HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home). It will now go to the full Knesset for a reading.

The bill gives new fathers three days of paid leave and five days of sick pay, to be paid by the employer.

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“This bill will let fathers be partners and help begin their connection with their child. The model of equal parenthood is encouraged throughout the Western world, and this bill could be a first step in this direction,” Zandberg told Haaretz.

Many Western European countries grant generous paternity leave for new fathers, ranging from two weeks paid leave in the U.K. to 16 months in Sweden. But the U.S. lags behind; federal law only allows fathers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, with only three states providing paid leave to fathers.

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