A group of Delhi University professors recently wrote to the University Vice-Chancellor, Yogesh K Tyagi, to provide maternity leaves to ad hoc teachers as well. The move comes after the governing body of women’s college, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, announced in July that their administration may grant maternity leave to its female staff under the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 and sent a letter to Academics for Action and Development.
“Thousands of ad hoc teachers have been suffering on account of ‘no-maternity-policy’ for non-permanent female employees. Many careers have been jeopardised because of this policy. In many cases, women employees had to report to work the very next day of child-birth,” Executive Council member Rajesh Jha wrote in his letter, signed by other faculty members.
Delhi University accommodates around 3,000 ad hoc women teachers in total and they can only get maternity benefits if the university agrees to accept the demands and amend the policies
The amendment in Maternity Benefit Act that came in 2017 increased the leaves from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. However, the ad hoc female teachers could never reap in the benefits of the amended law.
Normally, a college can keep an ad hoc teacher for a maximum of four months. But in almost all cases, they extend the contract, maintaining the temporary nature of the job permanently. In such cases, the ad hoc teachers get a bare minimum of three to four days’ casual offs in their term.
Delhi University accommodates around 3,000 ad hoc women teachers in total and they can only get maternity benefits if the university agrees to accept the demands and amend the policies. Professors also brought this up in the Academic Council meeting of the university last month, which could not arrive at any decision.