Will the 7th CPC Extend Child Care Leave for Male Employees Too?
Child Care Leave, introduced by the 6th CPC, was a boon for women employees.
Women employees have for long, been entitled to Maternity Leave. The 90 days paid leave granted as maternity leave was extended to 135 days by the 5th CPC. The 6th CPC further increased it to 180 days.
Based on the very reasonable request presented by ATMAJA (Association of Adoptive Parents), the Government announced ‘Child Adoption Leave’ for female employees in 2006. Orders were issued to grant 135 days leave for female employees who adopt child upto one year of age.
The 6th CPC introduced a family welfare privilege for female employees. Consequent upon the decisions taken by the Government on the recommendations of the 6th CPC relating to Maternity Leave and Child Care Leave, the Central Govt decided that the existing provisions of Maternity Leave enhanced to 180 days.
Leave of the kind due and admissible (including commuted leave for a period not exceeding 60 days and leave not due) that can be granted in continuation with Maternity Leave provided in Rule 43(4)(b) shall be increased to 2 years.
Women employees having minor children may be granted Child Care Leave for a maximum period of two years (i.e. 730 days) during their entire service for taking care of upto two children whether for rearing or to look after any of their needs like examination, sickness etc.
Only female employees were entitled to these leaves in order to provide health care and education supervision requirements for her two children. Although there were difficulties in implementing this decision, the announcement was welcomed by women employees.
But this also created a sense of longing among the male employees.
Were they not concerned about their family’s welfare?
Was their presence not required in health and education related issues of their children?
‘Why are we being denied this allowance?’. Men employees were wondered.
But some male staff themselves wondered, it was impossible to give the same privilege to male employees too, who constitute 90% of the government workforce.
One could also hear demands that if not 730 days, at least half of it should be given to the male employees.
Some suggest that the allowance should be made in genuine cases after necessary enquiries.
Some also suggest that in cases where the husband and wife are employed, the leave should be given to both.
Everybody has a right to demand…!
The request to give this privilege to men who have lost their wives, to look after their children sounds very reasonable.
Children who have lost their mothers require the care and presence of their fathers.
Will the 7th CPC consider this demand?