I'm reading a job description where it mentions "3 Month Paternity Relief Contract". That doesn't make sense to me. Does it mean employee can leave 3 months for paternity leave?

  • 1
    That's not what "paternity relief" normally means. It usually means a court ruling that a man is not the father of a child. But it's hard to see how that applies to a job description. It's possible that this contract is only for three months, to cover someone else's paternity leave.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 28, 2013 at 8:47
  • 2
    They likely meant 3 month paternity leave contract where the father may take 3 months off to care for a new baby or the mother. The normal and politically correct wording is parental leave which covers either gender
    – mplungjan
    Aug 28, 2013 at 8:54
  • @AndrewLeach, it does make some sense that they use ‘relief’ in that way—the person taking the three-month job would be acting as ‘relief’ to the company, relieving the total work burden by buffering up work forces. It’s not a very natural phrasing, though, I agree. Aug 28, 2013 at 10:52
  • @Janus Yes, it's a Relief Contract covering paternity leave, rather than a contract for Paternity Relief. Infelicitous. In fact they could have dropped the "Paternity" altogether. It's actually irrelevant.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 28, 2013 at 10:57
  • @AndrewLeach How does paternity relief "usually mean a court ruling that a man is not the father of a child."?
    – TrevorD
    Aug 28, 2013 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


Paternity leave is time taken off by a new father to care for his child. The equivalent for a new mother is maternity leave. Most countries have a law which mandates that employers must give new parents time off. To cover their absence, short-term contracts are often offered.

In this case, it appears the job advertised is to cover a three-month period of paternity leave. This would be a temporary contract. This may be unsuitable if you are looking for a permanent position. However, some employers may consider hiring someone who has filled in for a person on parental leave if they do a good job and they have vacancies, it may be worth asking if this is possible.


Paternity leave is part of Parental leave.

It is an employee benefit that provides paid or unpaid time off work to care for a child or make arrangements for the child's welfare. The term "parental leave" includes maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. Often, the minimum benefits are stipulated by law.

So this contract is for 3 months only when someone who is on leave is to come back to the workplace. He/she holding his/her position and job open over the contract period.

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