The Government announced to refund employers for seven weeks of maternity leave given to employees: WCD Ministry.

The Government announced to refund employers for seven weeks of maternity leave given to employees: WCD Ministry.

November 17, 2018.

The Women and Child Development ministry announced on Thursday that the government will give employers the salaries for seven of the 26 weeks of maternity leave for women earning more than Rs 15,000 a month. It comes in the wake of complaints that many companies were reluctant to hire, pregnant women after maternity leave was extended from 12 to 26 weeks and some were even firing women employees and it covers the government as well as the private sectors.

“It has been decided to utilize the funds lying in the labor welfare cess to pay the employers.” “The utilization of the labor welfare cess lying with the state governments have been very less. After talks with the Labour Ministry, it has been decided that the seven of the 26 weeks of maternity leave for all women employees in the private and government sector getting more than Rs 15,000 a month would be paid from that fund,” said WCD Secretary Rakesh Srivastava.

The labor welfare cess has been given to state governments to ensure the welfare of workers. Srivastava said, there were complaints from women that they were getting fired from their jobs due to the increased duration of maternity leave. “The government has now decided that out of the 14 extra weeks, half of the amount of salary paid to the pregnant woman would be refunded to the employer from the funds of the labor welfare cess.”

Srivastava said, till March 2017, there was Rs 32,632 crore in the fund. Of this, just Rs 7,500 crore has been utilized. “We would be refunding the salary of seven weeks to the employer so women do not face problems upon returning to work.”  “The labor minister has agreed to the proposal and we are now carrying it forward. There will soon be a notification from the Labour Ministry with further details.”

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