The Centre on Wednesday said in Parliament that female and single male government employees are eligible for 730 days of child care leave. “The employees are eligible for child care leave under Rule 43-C of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972 for a maximum period of seven hundred and thirty days during the entire service,” Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The rule is applicable for taking care of two children up to the age of 18, the minister added.
The government hasn’t set any age limit in case of differently-abled child.
Till now, men are entitled to 15-day leave within six months of birth or adoption. In 2022, women’s panel had proposed extending paternity leave to reduce burden on mothers.
The announcement comes weeks after Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said his government will give 12-month maternity leave and one-month paternity leave to its employees.
This benefit will help the government employees to take better care of their children and families, Mr Tamang had said.
This is a step towards bringing equality as per the paternity leave rules across the world.
Spain allows 16-week paternity leave, while Sweden’s parental leave has three months reserved for fathers. Finland, another European country, grants 164 days each to mothers and fathers.
In the US, there is no paid paternity leave under federal law but Canada provides five extra weeks off (for 40 weeks) for second parent. The UK allows shared parental leave for up to 50 weeks.
Singapore also has a rule that gives two-week paid paternity leave to employees.
In India, parental leave is governed by Maternity Benefit Act 1961, which allows working women to take paid maternity leave for six months.
In case of adoption, the maternity benefit is capped at 12 weeks.
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