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Consider childcare leave for fathers as well: HC

November 06, 2018 06:48 AM


Consider childcare leave for fathers as well: HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5

Making it clear to the Haryana Government that childcare leave cannot be denied to a woman employee, the High Court has asked the state authorities to consider the feasibility of providing the same benefit to men employees also.
The assertion by Justice Ritu Bahri of the High Court came on a petition filed against the State of Haryana and other respondents by Raminder Kaur through counsel Dhruv Gupta. Referring to the Haryana Government instructions issued on February 5, 2010, Gupta submitted that childcare leave for a maximum period of 730 days could be given to a woman employee. But the benefit, in the case in hand, was denied to the petitioner on the grounds that alternative arrangement could not be made on her place.

After going through the documents and the arguments, Justice Bahri asserted that a perusal of the instructions showed that the benefit of the childcare leave could only be granted to women employees.

Justice Bahri observed this was so because the government was of the view that “it was the woman who has to look after the children”. As such, the benefit was restricted to women employees only.

“If it is so, then this benefit cannot be denied to women employees. The government can consider giving childcare leave to father as well,” Justice Bahri added, while issuing a notice of motion to the state and other respondents.

Accepting the notice on behalf of the official respondents, Deputy Advocate General Palika Monga sought time to address arguments before the Bench on the issue. The case will come up for hearing in January next year.

The Haryana Government rules make it clear that childcare leave is admissible to a woman government employee for a maximum period of two years or 730 days during her entire service for taking care of her surviving children. It is permissible only for the first two children of the government employee. Their age has to be below 18 years for the mother to avail the leave.

The right is considered valuable because a woman employee gets full salary for the period of childcare leave. The HC has already made it clear that childcare leave has to be applied for in advance by a woman employee working with the Haryana Government

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