BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Kamilah Lawrence, Public Relations Manager at the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board, has applauded FLOW for implementing a progressive paternity policy and encouraged other companies to consider similar initiatives in the interest of their workers’ well-being.
In June 2019, Flow announced a new policy introducing paid leave for fathers, adoptive, and foster parents and extending time off for moms. The new policy provides 16 weeks of paid leave for mothers who would have given birth, and eight weeks of paid leave for the fathers, adoptive and foster parents, as well as any employee who becomes a surrogate parent. Previously, only permanent employees were granted 12 weeks of maternity leave. However, the new policy benefits both mothers and fathers whether permanent or temporary.
“I want to commend first of all FLOW for that initiative,” said Ms. Lawrence. “I want to implore other companies to get on board and to provide the same for their employees because studies show that a staff that feels appreciated is a productive and happy staff. So, I want to implore other organizations to do the same.”
Ms. Lawrence noted that paternity leave is not currently listed as a paid benefit of Social Security.
“So, this sort of support is something that should be encouraged because we know that stronger families are safer communities for us,” she said. “A stronger family means people who are more educated, people who are loved and valued, and all those things tie into the other social ills… so this is very important.”
She added that the idea of offering the paid leave to biological parents, and those who would have accepted an infant into their home for placement, or as a result of adoption or foster care, is commendable.