A new PN government will extend paid leave to new fathers upon the birth of their children, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said during a political activity on Sunday. 

While not giving details, he ,promised that this extension would be “substantial”. 

Last year an EU directive saw paternity leave for fathers increased to ten days, thanks to an initiative led by MEP David Casa. However, this has yet to be implemented locally, with member states having until August 2022 to integrate the directive into law. 

While Maltese law guarantees mothers 18 weeks of paid leave, fathers and partners are only allocated one day of birth leave. 

“Families in all of their forms must be strengthened because it is the crux of where people are nurtured and developed,” Grech said. 

“Part of our vision for the family is for every couple that welcomes a new baby to be able to give that child the attention that it needs.”

“We also want to empower new mothers to be able to receive the support that they need from the person with whom they are going to be raising a child,” he continued. 

“While I cannot say right now by how much paternity leave will be extended to presently, I can promise you that it’s going to be much more than it is now,” he said.

During the activity, Grech spoke about many new proposals made by the Nationalist Party in recent weeks, including promising to fund all cancer treatments, higher salaries for teachers, raising the VAT exemption ceiling to €60,000 and assisting farmers in becoming landowners to tackle the scarcity of agricultural land. 

PN reform process

Grech said that the party had made great strides in its ongoing process of renewal, and the people now had a choice between a government with a lot of baggage and lack of impetus to tackle financial crime, or turn the page on a new Nationalist government that was not afraid to take hard decisions and bring criminals to justice. 

“We cannot trust the Labour government to make these necessary decisions when it comes to financial crime because they are still entangled in its web and its shadow still looms over them,” Grech said. 

“The people have a choice between the politics of continuity that has led us into this disaster situation of greylisting, or turning the page with a new leader and a new government that says ‘we deserve better and our country deserves better’”. 

“I am determined to bring any person whose actions dragged our country’s name through the mud to face justice in the courts, because it’s unacceptable for us the people to continue atoning for their activities,” Grech said. 

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