Women staff in central govt to get 60-day leave upon child's death soon after birth
The benefit of special maternity leave shall be admissible only to a female central government servant with less than two surviving children and for child delivery only in an authorised hospital. It was stated that these orders shall be applicable to government personnel assigned to the civil services and posts in connection with the activities of the Union of India in accordance with Rule 2 of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules 1972.
All female central government employees will be entitled for 60 days special maternity leave in case of death of a child soon after birth, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said on Friday. According to the statement, the decision was made in consideration of the possible emotional devastation a stillbirth or the loss of a child soon after birth may bring, which would have a profound effect on the mother's life.
The DoPT said that it has been getting a number of referrals and inquiries asking for clarity on the granting of leave or maternity leave in the event of a stillbirth or premature death of a child.
"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been consulted on the issue. Keeping in view the potential emotional trauma caused due to stillbirth or death of a child soon after birth, which has a far-reaching impact on the mother's life, it has now been decided to grant a special maternity leave of 60 days to a female central government servant in case of death of a child soon after birth/stillbirth…," it said in the order.
If a female central government employee has already taken maternity leave and her leave is still in effect on the date the child passes away or is stillborn, the remaining time off can be converted into any other type of leave that is available in her leave account without a doctor's note, and a special maternity leave of 60 days can be given starting on the day the child passes away or is stillborn.
According to the regulation, 60 days of special maternity leave may be awarded if a female central government employee has not used her maternity leave as of the child's early postpartum or stillbirth date.
The instruction sent to all central government ministries and agencies said that the term "shortly after birth" might be interpreted as up to 28 days. The DoPT stated that a baby delivered with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks of gestation may be considered a stillbirth.
It stated that the benefit of special maternity leave would only be available to female central government employees with fewer than two surviving children and would only be used for childbirth at an approved hospital. The Central Government Health Scheme defines the licenced hospital as either a government hospital or a private hospital. The DoPT ruling said that the provision of an emergency certificate is required in cases of emergency deliveries in non-panelled private hospitals.
With effect from the date of issuance of this order, it was stated that these orders shall be applicable to government personnel assigned to the civil services and posts in connection with the activities of the Union of India in accordance with Rule 2 of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules 1972.
(With PTI inputs)