The Protection Of The Paternity Law (Law 117 (I) 2017)

The Cyprus Parliament approved the Law for the Protection of the Paternity in July 2017, which is in effect as from 1st August 2017.

This Law enters the term of the protection of the paternity for the first time in Cyprus’ legal system, since before this Law, a father was only eligible to unpaid paternity leave.

The approved Law for the Protection of the Paternity is an innovative and positive development in Cyprus’ Family Law, since the term of the paternity protection through a paid paternity leave has been incorporated in the legal systems of other European Countries for several years now. The Protection of the Paternity Law is an outcome of the Cyprus Parliament’s deliberations in regards to the achievement of gender equality in employment and paid leave from employment due to the acquisition of a child.

According to this Law an employee whose spouse gave birth or acquired a child through a surrogate mother, or he and his spouse adopted a child up to the age of 12 years old, has the right to paternity leave of two (2) consecutive weeks in the period in which it begins the week of childbirth or adoption and ends after sixteen (16) weeks.

An employed spouse who intends to exercise his right to paternity must give a written two weeks’ notice to his employer, before the paternity leave starts.

According to the Law, the employer is forbidden to terminate the employee’s employment or give the employee notice of termination of the employment during the period commencing on the date of written notice by the employee of his intention to exercise his right to paternity leave and which expires at the end of the paternity leave.

The employed spouse will be paid 72% of his weekly wages for those two weeks. This percentage is also valid for the payment of the maternity leave, which is increased to 80%, 90% and 100% when the beneficiary has one, two or three dependents respectively.

The Law refers to married employees or employees who entered into co-habitation agreement with their partners and they have also paid their contributions to the Social Insurance Fund.

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The Cyprus Parliament approved the amending Law 116 (I) 2017, which amends the basic existing Law 100 (I) 1997 for the protection of the Maternity, and it is in effect as from 1st August 2017.