Extension of maternity leave under discussion
The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) and Cabinet Secretariat could not draw any conclusion on the implementation of extension of maternity leave from three to six months for women civil servants.
Although both RCSE and the Cabinet decided on two or three recommendation to give six months from three months maternity leave and 10 days from 5 days of paternity leave.
But the conflict is about the extension of another six months additional parental leave as recommended by RCSC and Cabinet for working parents would be granted leave or flexi time.
Lyonchoen in meet the press last Friday said, the RCSC responded to the Cabinet saying that they don’t require approval from the Cabinet only the budget requirements requires the approval. But if that is the case RCSC should not put up the proposal to the Cabinet he said.
“If the commission has the authority to approve leave then we the cabinet don’t want to put our hands,” “though it is not Cabinet’s authority but we worked as per proposal and recommendation,” Prime Minister said.
The Minister for Works and Human Settlement Lyonpo Dorji Choden said, the Cabinet decided to grant half day leave only for mothers in additional six months leave. After studying thoroughly the cabinet intends to avoid misuses of leave and also to pay full salary.
The Cabinet has decided only the mothers will be entitled for the additional maternity leave for the beneficial of both the child and for mother , it would be best for mother to just work half a day and take leave , she added.
Supplementing on the issue the Health Minister, Lyonpo Tandin Wang- chuk said that the babies should be breast feed for first six months to maintain health of baby and after six months the babies can be fed by supplementary food.
Whereas the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has proposed that the leave should be flexible for both the father and mother in additional six months parental leave by deducting half payment and half housing allowance.
“Not many civil servants could be able to survive with the parental leave since either of the parents would only receive half the wages” , said Prime Minister.
Even with pending works, mothers can take home to complete as Lyonchhen quoted that during the winter timing the civil servants misses only 2 to 3 hours per day.
“For teacher and nurse the work seems to be bit inconvenient, if the mother is teacher in understanding basis her subject can be shifted in the morning and for nurse they can work 9 am to 1 pm is enough,” he said.
The government’s decision is meant to grant mothers half day leave is to ensure continuity in one’s own field work and to save the government’s funds without having to recruit new members.