PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday, March 22nd, 2019, the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) met with the Member of Parliament Ms. Tamara Leonard to discuss her proposed amendments to the rules on maternity and paternity leave. This proposal was first submitted to the Minister of Health Care, Social Development and Labor in 2017. Unfortunately, to date, there has been no meeting called to discuss this proposal in Parliament.
The adoption of this proposal would increase maternity leave to 18 weeks and introduce a paternity leave of two weeks. Currently, civil servants are entitled to a maternity leave of 12 weeks while fathers are entitled to two days. The WITU expressed their content with the fact that some Members of Parliament recognize the importance of equality within the Kingdom on the matter of pregnancy leave for both the mother and the father. It is for this reason that the WITU could support a proposal to have pregnancy leave increased for civil servants.
The WICSU-PSU thanked the Member of Parliament for taking the time to meet with the CCSU and present her proposal on pregnancy leave, especially considering that currently, parliamentary meetings are being held on the Budget of 2019. The WICSU-PSU also commended Ms. Leonard on her proposal as a few years’ prior, WICSU-PSU published an article challenging the current policies on paternity leave. The WICSU-PSU went on to say that they would like to see the proposal expanded on to address for example additional courtesies for parents of premature babies.
The WICSU-PSU joined with the WITU in giving their support for the proposal of Ms. Leonard to which the Members concluded the meeting with a discussion on the options available to the CCSU and a possible way forward.