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SC: Denying Women Childcare Leave is violation of Constitution


Why is it in the news?

  • The SC has directed the government of Himachal Pradesh to review its policies on Child Care Leave (CCL) concerning working mothers, particularly those with children, especially mothers of children with special needs.
  • The state of Himachal Pradesh has not adopted the provisions of CCL, which poses challenges for working mothers in the state.

More about the news

  • The Court emphasized that the participation of women in the workforce is a constitutional entitlement protected by Article 15 of the Constitution. This article prohibits discrimination based on gender, among other grounds.
  • The Court noted that maternity benefits provided for childbirth may not be sufficient and are distinct from the concept of CCL, which is essential for addressing ongoing child-related needs.

About Child Care Leave (CCL)

  • Rule 43-C of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972 provides for 2 years (730 days) of CCL to female employees with children under 18 years of age, allowing them to attend to their child-related needs such as exams or illness.
  • CCL does not have an age limit in the case of caring for a disabled child, recognizing the ongoing care needs of children with special needs.
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017

·        The Act provides for 26 weeks of paid maternity leave to women workers, with not more than 8 weeks preceding the expected date of delivery.

 

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