Women em­ployee in pri­vate sec­tor waits for ex­tended ma­ter­nity leave

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Deki Lhadon

The ma­ter­nity which was ex­tended by Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (RCSC) with ef­fect from 1st March has made most of the work­ing women in the govern­ment ser­vice happy while pri­vate em­ploy­ees are still wait­ing to hear the same from their or­ga­ni­za­tions. Moth­ers will be paid with full salary and house rent al­lowance dur­ing this pe­riod.

The new rule will be ap­plied to the moth­ers who gave birth since 1st Septem­ber last year. Tsh­er­ing Lham, 32 a govern­ment em­ployee who re­cently gave birth is on ma­ter­nity leave said, “Though we could work 3months more with pre­vi­ous rule, it is high time for us to give more im­por­tance to our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.” I am happy that my daugh- ter is born at the ini­tial im­ple­men­ta­tion of this rule.”

The main ob­jec­tive of ex­tend­ing ma­ter­nity leave from 3months to 6months is to give moth­ers more time to their child and to im­prove early child care and de­vel­op­ment. It is also in the view of en­hanc­ing ex­clu­sive breast feed­ing rate in the coun­try which now stands at 51.4% only.

As per the study re­port, the govern­ment pro­posed for ex­ten­sion of ma­ter­nity leave to RCSC in Jan­uary, 2015 and it was en­dorsed on 25th De­cem­ber, 2015.

Not only the moth­ers but fa­thers work­ing in the civil ser­vice will now get 10 days of pa­ter­nity leave from the pre­vi­ous five work­ing days start­ing from 1st March. “Though we fa­thers don’t breast feed our child, we are equally im­por­tant for the health of moth­ers.” Said Dawa, 29 a father of a child. “Now with the ex­tended pa­ter­nity leave, we can at least stay with our wife till they get fully re­cov­ered.” He added.

Lunch tim­ing for work­ing moth­ers can also ex­tended from 12 noon to 2 P.M to fa­cil­i­tate baby feed­ing un­til the baby turns 4months. While the moth­ers in­volve in the di­rect ser­vice like teach­ing and med­i­cal should take off their own time en­sur­ing their ser­vice are not af­fected as a re­sult of such ar­range­ment .

The em­ploy­ees in the cor­po­rate or govern­ment owned com­pa­nies are also ex­pect­ing the same very soon but em­ployee in the pri­vate sec­tors are still in doubt.

The orig­i­nal govern­ment pro­posal had also talked for the flexi tim­ing for the moth­ers in the pri­vate sec­tors but RCSC only sticks the civil ser­vants. Sacha Wangmo, 26 work­ing in pri­vate com­pany said, “I feel govern­ment should also look at our prob­lems as our child is also cit­i­zens of Bhutan.” “Is health of our chil­dren not im­por­tant for the coun­try?”

The Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion has re­vised the ma­ter­nity , pa­ter­nity leave and baby feed­ing break to com­mem­o­rate the Royal Birth of HRH The Gyalsey and un­der­line the im­por­tance of the health of mother and child, dur­ing and af­ter preg­nancy and birth, and to rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of a child’s first thou­sands days as well as par­ent­ing as s shared re­spon­si­bil­ity.

As per the press re­lease from RCSC th­ese changes are part of the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion’s ef­forts to im­prove the work place con­di­tions for civil ser­vants, and in par­tic­u­lar, for fe­males and fam­i­lies. This has been made pos­si­ble by the sup­port of the Govern­ment.

The Com­mis­sion re­viewed, in par­tic­u­lar, the pro­vi­sions un­der ma­ter­nity and pa­ter­nity leave, keep­ing in mind the im­por­tance of ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing and the un­der­ly­ing health im­pact to the child and the mother. It has also been mo­ti­vated by find­ings such as that from the Na­tional Nu­tri­tional Sur­vey (2015), which show that the ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing rate in Bhutan has been found to be only 51.4%. Stud­ies have shown that the preva­lence of stunt­ing, wast­ing and un­der­weight can be im­proved by pro­mot­ing six months of ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing, among oth­ers.

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