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Dad and baby

5 steps to asking your employer for paid paternity leave

In his book, All In, Josh Levs lists his steps to make paternity leave – or even paid paternity leave – a reality for every dad. Inspired by Josh’s advice, here’s your guide to asking for paternity leave, so you can care for your partner and little ones every step of the way.

  • 1

     Learn what your rights are

    So, how does paternity leave work? Do some research to understand what policies your state and employer offer. What have other employees done previously? Speak to colleagues, but also get as much information from your HR department as you can about paternity leave pay and policies.

  • 2

    Ask your team what’s possible

    Your manager
    if there is an
    y opportunity for flexible schedules and/or telecommuting during this
    time. Consider talking to your HR department about asking how an employee could go about requesting a
    policy change, if necessary

    Ask your manager or employer if there are any opportunities for flexible working hours or working from home, so you can be there for your family. Also, consider talking to your HR department about how an employee could request a policy change (if necessary).

  • 3

    Present your plan of action

    Now that you have all the information you need, you’re probably wondering: How can I apply for paternity leave?

    Your next step is to make a plan for a flexible schedule that would work best for you and your family. Next, share it with your manager or employer in person or in a paternity leave email or letter – whatever makes you feel most comfortable. 

    Be confident and explain how your plan is beneficial for you and your manager or employer – including how you would be available when needed and how you would get the work done to the standard they expect.

  • 4

    Schedule your plan in advance

    Don’t forget: it’s never too early to start drafting your paternity leave email to share with your employer or manager. In fact, the more advance you give them, the better. So, it’s important to set a realistic timeframe to align on your plan of action, leaving as many weeks (or even months) as possible before you’re expecting your child to arrive.

  • 5

    Take your paternity leave

    If you’re given time off, no matter how much, take advantage of it. It’s not just about enjoying the life-changing experience of being a dad from day one – you can also show how well paternity leave works and be a pioneer at your workplace. 

    If you’re not granted paid paternity leave, don’t give up. Build a coalition of like-minded people who share your goal of making paternity leave a right for every dad. Share all the reasons why active fatherhood benefits everybody in society. 

    And sign the paternity pledge today to help every dad and caregiver experience the benefits of paternity leave.


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