Court Allows Fathers to Receive Paid Leave

Fathers of young children have just as much right as mothers to receive paid leave from work to attend to a child, the Constitutional Court ruled Friday.

The court ordered lawmakers to amend a federal law to make it easier for fathers of young children to receive paid leave to take care of a child when the mother is sick, Interfax reported.

"The procedure to obtain this right is rather complicated and demands significant expenditures of organization and time," the court ruling said.

The ruling was made in response to the case of Mikhail Yermolov, father of a 1-year-old boy and a lead engineer at AvtoVAZ, the carmaker based in the city of Tolyatti.

Yermolov obtained a notice from his doctor granting him two weeks of sick time to look after his son while his wife was in hospital, but AvtoVAZ refused to pay for his time off work.

Yermolov demanded compensation for the two weeks -- 8,231 rubles ($227) -- in a local court, but the judge rejected his claim, saying laws did not oblige employers to pay for sick leave to a father whose child was not sick.

Yermolov appealed the court's ruling in a higher court, which turned to the Constitutional Court for help.