21 Nov, 2008 10:15a.m.|
The special child care leave (CCL) for women employees has turned out to be a big headache for the Union government. So much so that the Centre has now toned down the benefit fearing that it will cause staff shortages in central government departments.
The CCL, which is over and above the existing six-month maternity leave, will now be available only after the employees exhaust their earned leave or EL.
The CCL was announced two months ago on the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission to help women employees take better care of their children and family. But the move virtually backfired with several central government departments being flooded with applications from women employees for CCL.
Alarmed, department heads then petitioned the government, arguing that granting such leave for long periods would cause acute staff shortage.
The department of training and personnel (DoPT) has now modified the earlier order saying women employees cannot demand the special leave as a matter of right and can avail themselves of it only after they have exhausted their EL.
â€œThe intention of the pay commission in recommending CCL for women employees was to facilitate them to take care of their children at the time of need. However, this does not mean that CCL should disrupt the functioning of central government offices. The nature of this leave was envisaged to be the same as that of earned leave.
Accordingly, while maintaining the spirit of the pay commissionâ€™s recommendations and also harmonising the smooth functioning of the offices, clarifications are issued. CCL can be availed only if the employee concerned has no EL to her credit,â€ the new DoPT circular says.
Accordingly, CCL will be treated like EL and Saturdays, Sundays, gazetted holidays falling during the period of leave would also be counted in it, as is the case with EL.
The decision hasnâ€™t gone down well with women employees. Those who have already gone on leave will either have to return to work or part with their accumulated EL.
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