Money & Banking

LIC revises rule to increase maternity leave to 15 months

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on June 05, 2019 Published on June 04, 2019

maternity-leave

New norms to cover adoption, too

Female employees of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will now get three more months of maternity leave during their service period.

According to the revised rules for maternity leaves notified by the Finance Ministry, an employee will get a maximum of 15 months of maternity leave during her service period.

The norms cover Class-I officers, Development Officers and Class III/IV employees and have come into effect from May 31, 2019.

As of March 31, 2018, out of LIC’s total employee strength of nearly 1.12 lakh, 24,000 were women.

Riders attached

According to the notification, the maternity leave may be granted for a period which may extend up to six months at a stretch, subject to a maximum of 15 months during the entire period of the employee’s service.

The maternity leave to a female officer having two or more surviving children shall be granted for a maximum period of three months at a stretch.

Simply put, the leave will be for six months at a stretch each for the first and the second child, but just three months for the third child.

The reworked norms also specify two conditions. One, the leave may be granted once during the service to a childless female officer for adopting a child — who is below one-year of age — through a proper legal process and on submission of a certified true copy of the adoption deed to the corporation. The maximum period of leave shall be 12 weeks or till the child attains the age of one, whichever is earlier.

The second condition provides for granting of a maximum of 12 weeks of leave, once during the service, to a childless ‘commissioning mother’ (a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in another woman) from the date of birth of the child. This leave may be used for one child till the child turns one year.

Private cos to the fore

LIC’s move comes at a time when many private companies have also been announcing similar policies.

On Monday, food aggregator Zomato said it would be offering 26 weeks of paid leave, or will follow the government mandated policy, whichever is more. This will be same for women (maternity leave) as well as men (paternity leave). The policy also applies to non-birthing parents in cases of surrogacy, adoption and same-sex partners.

Last month, alcoholic beverage maker Diageo announced 26 weeks of maternity leave and four weeks of paternity leave for its employees.

These new norms are on the basis on the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017. The Act provided increasing the maximum period of maternity benefit from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks, in case of women who have less than two surviving children; in other cases, the existing period of 12 weeks’ maternity benefit will continue. It talked about extending the maternity benefits to ‘commissioning’ and adopting mothers, and they will be entitled to 12 weeks’ maternity benefit from the date the child is handed over.

The Act also has an enabling provision to facilitate work-from-home for mothers. There is also a provision to make it mandatory for establishments with 50 or more employees, to have a crèche either individually or as a shared common facility within such distance as may be prescribed by rules and also to allow mothers four visits to the crèche, including the interval for rest allowed to them.

Published on June 04, 2019
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