The House labour committee on Tuesday discussed a bill for extending the time window for paternity leave to help families balance their family and professional lives.

The bill, submitted by Akel, extends the option of taking paternity leave to 52 weeks.

The committee intends to change legislation so that fathers can request paternity leave of two weeks after maternity leave ends, whether the government agrees or not, Edek MP Andreas Apostolou said after the session.

He explained that fathers today are entitled to take paternity leave within 16 weeks of their child’s birth, and said he believes that changing this would “help create a balance between parents’ family and professional life, and support young mothers on their return to work once their maternity leave ends”.

Apostolou also said the committee will look into what other countries are doing, and has asked the labour ministry for the minister’s opinion on the matter.

Final decisions will be made next week.