The Knesset plenum approved a first reading of MK Rachel Azaria’s (Kulanu) “Equal Parenting Law,” which changes the name of maternity leave to childbirth and parenting period, and will enable fathers to take “parenting hour,” formerly known as “nursing hour.”
The terminology changes are meant to reflect the fact that the period following childbirth is not a vacation, but rather a time for the mother to recover from childbirth and for the new baby to adapt to life with both of his or her parents.
The terminology changes further indicate that new fathers can also benefit from some post-partum benefits.
One such benefit is that both parents can share “parenting hour,” formerly known as “nursing hour.” Until now, only one parent could take advantage of “nursing hour,” the right to leave work one hour earlier than usual, for a period of four months following the return from maternity leave (now childbirth and parenting period).
According to the law’s initiator, MK Rachel Azaria, “The Equal Parenting Law joins a series of laws that I am initiating, together with the Kulanu party. Laws that help adapt the working world to the daily lives of families. Women in Israel work the most hours and give birth to the most children with respect to other countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). We must, therefore, enable and encourage parents to share the responsibilities surrounding raising families.”