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Parental Leave Increase for Civil Servants

Government 13 Mar, 2024 Follow News

Deputy Governor Franz Manferson

By: CIG   

The Cayman Islands Civil Service has announced that the Cabinet has approved the issuance of drafting instructions to amend the Personnel Regulations to increase parental leave provisions for civil servants. The increases will enhance the Government’s overall benefits package and afford new parents valuable time and additional financial support while they are establishing those all-important initial bonds with their infants.

When finalised, the Personnel (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will, among other things:

• increase overall maternity leave entitlements from 90 working days to 110 working days,

• increase overall paternity leave entitlements from 2 working weeks to 20 working days,

• increase the paid portion of maternity leave from 30 working days on normal pay to 60 working days on normal pay, and

• increase the paid portion of paternity leave from one week on normal pay to 10 working days on normal pay.

Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs, Hon Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, whole heartedly endorsed and co-championed the policy development, commenting, “As Minister of Gender Affairs, and as a working mother of three children, I’m beyond proud of the advancements this change to the Personnel Regulations will bring. This increased parental leave entitlement is a significant step forward in supporting families.  It recognises the value of parents spending critical time at home with their young children.”

Minister Ebanks-Wilks added, “This change acknowledges the crucial role that both parents play in caregiving and child-rearing. This is an acceptance of the diversity of the family structure, the economic and social needs of our community, and the physical and psychological needs of young children. By recognising and supporting the shared responsibility of caregiving, regardless of gender, we are not only promoting gender equality and equity, but also dismantling traditional stereotypes. On behalf of the Ministry of Gender Affairs, I want to acknowledge and commend my colleagues in Government for collaborating and supporting the Portfolio of the Civil Service with this undertaking; an undertaking that recognises the holistic responsibilities carried by our civil servants, the diverse needs of modern families and fostering an inclusive environment where all individuals are afforded the opportunity and flexibility to balance work and family obligations. This will not only strengthen our families, but will also build a more resilient and prosperous Cayman Islands for generations to come.”

Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, who took the Paper to Cabinet, praised policy makers for improving the circumstances for both women and men within the Civil Service who are starting or growing their families. In response to the approval of drafting instructions, the Deputy Governor wholeheartedly thanked the Premier and Cabinet for their support of the proposed changes, and stated, “This enhancement recognises the importance of shared parenting responsibilities, enabling both mothers and fathers to actively participate in childcare. This contributes to better work-life balance, strengthens family bonds, and helps break traditional gender roles. Ultimately, such policies promote a more equitable society, aligning with the spirit of Honouring Women Month.”

Deputy Chief Officer Lauren Knight and Policy Analyst Renita Barnes in the Portfolio of the Civil Service undertook preliminary work to make the initial outcome possible, and will see the project through to implementation of the amendments.

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