The Federal Government has approved the introduction of 14 days paternity leave for public servants in the new Public Service Rules (PSR). The approval, which was done at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, is to allow fathers to properly bond with newborn babies or adopted children.

This disclosure was made by the Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Yemi-Esan also said that the annual leave would henceforth be calculated based on working days instead of calendar days.

What the Head of Service of the Federation is saying

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Yemi-Esan said that the Annual Performance Evaluation Review (APER) and Promotions had been replaced with a new Performance Management System.

She said, “We presented a memo on the revised Public Service Rules (PSR), and we are all aware that the PSR is an old important tool in the public service; it is what governs the actions of public servants at work.

“The last time these rules were revised was in 2008; and so, we recognise that the revision was long overdue.

“And so, we put everything that we got to ensure that we did the revision; these rules ideally, are supposed to be revised every fives. But this has taken more than that for us to get the revised PSR 2021.’’

Yemi-Esan said that in doing the revision, there were a lot of stakeholder engagements adding that a circular was put out for inputs from different sectors and from various groups that wanted amendments to the PSR.

She said, “We set up different committees to look at what we got; and finally, a technical committee that consisted of permanent secretaries serving and retired and directors were put together to look at the zero draft that we got. After they reviewed it, we took it to the National Council on Establishment.”

The Head of Service said that there were some revisions that were supposed to be made before making the new PSR public.

She said, “Those revisions have been done; and so, we brought it to FEC this morning for approval and we got approval for it. Some of the revisions that we made – the first thing was that the 2008 version had 16 chapters;  meanwhile, the 2021 version now has 17 chapters in it.

“The chapter on APER and Promotions has been replaced by a new chapter on the New Performance Management System that has been introduced into the public service. There’s also a chapter that has also been reinvigorated–the chapter on training–this is an all-important chapter because of the importance that training has in the public service.’’

What you should know

Recall that in March 2021, the federal government approved paternity leave for staff of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy had at an unveiling ceremony for the presentation of NITDA’s employee-centric conditions of service said the development was in line with the new service scheme for workers at the agency.

Prior to this development, there was no provision for paternity leave for civil servants, while female employees are entitled to 3 months of maternity leave.

The House of Representatives had, in 2018, rejected a bill seeking to grant paternity leave to married men. Meanwhile, a few states in the country such as Lagos and Enugu have approved paternity leave for their workers.