Women employee in private sector waits for extended maternity leave
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.