How paternity leave works: everything you need to know

After the recent labor reform , many doubts still hang in the air. As an example, we can mention the paternity leave. But how does paternity leave work?

Many workers do not know whether they have lost the right to this benefit, whether or not there has been any significant change, among other things.

Did the Brazilian worker even understand how paternity leave worked before retirement? In many companies, this type of information is not passed on to all employees, which ends up generating more doubts than certainties.

In this article, we’ll take a real X-ray of how paternity leave works. Continue reading and stay on top of the subject!

What is paternity leave?

Contrary to what many believe, paternity leave is not a municipal or state law. It is present in the Federal Constitution of 1988 , and its compliance is mandatory throughout the Brazilian territory.

Basically, it guarantees the worker a leave of absence for a period of up to five working days after the birth of the child.

During this period, the worker has all his rights and earnings guaranteed by law, that is, no type of salary discount is allowed.

Who is entitled and what are the requirements?

Every worker in the public and private sector, as well as self-employed contributors to Private Pension, are entitled to paternity leave.

It is also important to remember that it is not mandatory for the worker to be married to the child’s mother in order to obtain his benefit.

As for the requirements: just present the birth certificate to the organization’s personal department (public or private).

Thereafter, the responsible professionals will follow the standard procedures. In the case of adopting children, the processes and rights are the same.

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How many days are paternity leave?

As explained, by law, the worker is entitled to up to five working days of leave without any type of salary discount after the child’s birth. However, it is important to clarify how this count works.

If the child was born on the weekend, the counting will only start from Monday. However, if the worker performs his job normally on Saturdays and Sundays, those days are considered to be useful.

Another important detail in this count is the addendum to the public servant. After the decree of 4 May 2016, every public sector worker has the right to an additional 15 days on paternity leave.

However, to obtain the extra benefit, it is necessary for the server to request an extension up to a maximum of two days after the child’s birth – if this request does not occur, the normal period of 5 days remains valid.

Vacation paternity leave

If the child is born close to the worker’s vacation period , the mandatory five working days will be added at the time of the employee’s return. That is, after the end of the vacation, the remaining days of paternity leave will be added.

If the child is born during the holiday period, the paternity leave will be carried out on the working days after birth, with no impediment for the return of the worker on the previously scheduled day.

What has changed in paternity leave in Brazil after the labor reform?

Even before the labor reform in 2016, then-president Dilma Rousseff changed the law of the Citizen Company Program . Among the changes was an increase in the number of days of paternity leave.

Like civil servants, workers in companies that adhere to the program are entitled to an additional 15 days, in addition to the 5 guaranteed by law, totaling 20 days of paternity leave.

In this case, it is also necessary to request the prerogative up to two days after the child’s birth.

Referring to the Labor Reform, paternity leave has not undergone any changes. This is because the law in question is a constitutional right, which cannot be changed through a vote.

That is, no agreement between worker and company can decrease the number of mandatory days provided by law (which can be between 5 and 20 days). Any act in this sense is considered illegal and unconstitutional.

How does paternity leave work in other countries?

Around the world, many workers are entitled to paternity leave. However, the number of days and some benefits may vary by country.

Check out some curiosities of how paternity leave works:


The small European country, which recently had worldwide prominence thanks to its football team, has one of the largest paternity licenses in the world. In Iceland, parents can take up to 90 days of paid leave.


In Slovenia, another small European country, paternity leave is also 90 days. However, it is mandatory to take it 15 days before the baby is 6 months old and the rest must be done before the child’s 3 years old.

United States

In the most famous country in the world, parents are entitled to up to 84 days of leave after the birth of their child.

However, those days are not paid. In other words, even though they may be absent from the service without any kind of punishment for almost 3 months, workers will not receive the salary values ​​referring to the days of leave.

South American countries

In the countries neighboring Brazil, the number of days varies between 2 and 14.

  • In Argentina, for example, the law only provides for 2 days of entitlement;
  • In Colombia, the worker can stay up to 8 days away;
  • In Bolivia and Venezuela, parents are entitled to up to 14 paid days.

China, India and Russia

The two Asian countries (China and India), which are also among the most populous in the world, do not have paternity leave among their constitutional rights.

The largest European country, Russia, also does not reserve any paternity leave rights for its workers.

In fact, labor rights in Russia were the subject of protests around the world, when President Vladimir Putin’s nation was chosen and recently hosted the Football World Cup.

This is some information about how paternity leave works in Brazil and worldwide. It is important to obtain as much data as possible to avoid any difficulties in future interpretations or even legal problems.

Therefore, analyze all the content presented and eliminate any doubts about paternity leave.

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