I do not believe in marriages and luckily am not married but have a child with my girlfriend. I have been having an argument with my employer, who is very unhappily married, that I am entitled to paternity leave notwithstanding that the child is born out of wedlock? He is confidently refusing saying that the law has no such provision to support me. He has also hinted that I should quickly get married! Please guide me on my entitlement.
We are unable to comment on the argument between you and your boss on marriages. That is beyond the scope of this column. Hopefully he is not forcing you to get married as a condition of continuing your employment!
Section 34(1)(a) of the Employment and Labour Relations Act gives the right to 3 days paternity leave within any leave cycle. The law does not restrict paternity leave to children born in wedlock. The test to grant of paternity leave is that the employee applying for paternity leave is the biological father of the child and the paternity leave is sought within 7 days of the birth of the child. If employee gets 2 or more children from different mothers during the same leave cycle, he will be entitled to only 3 days paternity leave for 1 child.
In your case, since you are the biological father, you are entitled to paternity leave. However, remember this must be sought within the first 7 days of birth.