On Tuesday, Pakistan’s president Dr. Arif Alvi approved the Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill, 2023, to be enacted as law. 

Under the Bill, women employees of both public and private departments under the federal government’s administrative control will be entitled to avail maternity leave with full pay three times during service.

The times have been stipulated thus: 180 days for the first time, 120 days for the second, and 90 days for the third. 

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Working men now also have the right to spend their first month as a father on paternity leave with full pay. However, male employees will only be entitled to a leave of 30 days three times during their employment period. 

If a company is found in violation of the Bill, there is a risk of imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to 100, 000 rupees, or both.

The bill was passed by Pakistan’s parliament last month, and had been in the works for several years after being initially moved by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Quratulain Marri in 2018. 

The President gave his assent to the bill under Article 75 of the Constitution, which states that bills sent to the president are formally enacted as laws after his approval.