The Ukrainian government passed law No. 1401-IX which:
- Transforms unpaid paternity leave into employer-paid paternity leave
- Expands eligibility for paternity leave to relatives under certain circumstances
- Provides additional annual leave for certain fathers
The law, which aims to promote gender equality, entered into effect on 9 May 2021.
Employers are now required to compensate employees during the existing 14 calendar days of paternity leave which must be granted within three months of the birth of the child. Paternity leave excludes public holidays and weekends.
Until this reform, only fathers married to the birth mother of a newborn child were entitled to claim paternity leave. Paternity leave is now available to:
- Male employees married to the mother of a newborn child
- Unmarried male employees so long as they live with the mother of the newborn child
- A relative caring for the child (includes a sibling, grandparent, etc.) if the child is raised by a single parent
Fathers of two or more children under age 15 (or one disabled child of any age) are now entitled to an additional 10 calendar days of employer-paid leave annually. New fathers of biological or adopted children will have their annual leave entitlement increased from 24 calendar days to a total of 34 calendar days per year. Prior to the change, only mothers of two or more children under age 15 were entitled to the 10 calendar days of additional annual leave.
Child care leave
Child care leave is an unpaid leave that was previously available to female employees until the child’s third birthday (sixth birthday for a child with a disability). Fathers were previously allowed child care leave only when the mother decided to not exercise her right to such leave.
From 9 May 2021, mothers no longer have a priority claim to child care leave and married or unmarried fathers (living with the mother of their child), as well as to any relative caring for the child when the child is raised by a single parent, have a claim to child care leave equal to the mother’s, although it will only be granted to one person at a time.
Single or married male employees with children under age 14 (or one child with a disability) are now allowed to request more flexible working arrangements including work from home or part-time work during parental leave.