Happy Mothers, Happy Employers: Government Plans To Reimburse Maternity Leave Costs To CompaniesManeka Gandhi (MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

The government of India is planning to pay back companies an amount equivalent to seven month’s salary of women employees from the labour fund to cover the costs of maternity leave, PTI has reported.

"We would be refunding the salary of seven weeks to the employer so women do not face problems upon returning to work," said Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The facility will be provided only to those who earn more than Rs 15,000 per month in both government and private sector. The move was taken after the government received complaints about the reluctance of companies to hire women.

The government had increased maternity leave for working women from 12 months to 26 months by introducing Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill in 2017 which was subsequently passed. Though laudable, the move had raised concerns that companies will avoid hiring women due to higher costs of maternity leave.

To address the issue, Maneka Gandhi, union minister for women and child development, approached the labour ministry. The decision was taken to use the underutilised Labour Cess Funds in order to reimburse partially the costs of maternity leaves to companies. Out of Rs 32,632 crore in the fund, only Rs 7,500 crore have been utilised till now as per existing data.

Also Read : Do The Champions Of The ‘Maternity Bill’ Know That It All But Kills Surrogacy In India?

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber