In order to increase women’s participation in workplace more than ever, the Uttarakhand high court on Thursday ordered the state government to provide 180 days’ maternity leave to all pregnant women. This new ground breaking decision is intended to raise the safeguard and to acknowledge rights of women, including contractual and ad hoc/tenure or temporary basis employees, TOI reports.

Further, the order also accords full pay to the women during the leave period.

The order, sanctioned by the division bench comprising justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh, dated December 15, 2016 cited, “The respondent-State is also directed to grant maternity leave to all the female employees with full pay for 180 days, even working on contractual basis, *ad hoc*/tenure or temporary basis.”

Also Read: Viacom extends maternity leave to 9 months

The instruction further states that the state government will allow all women employees 730 days of child care leave (CCL) during their entire service as per recommendation of the sixth central pay commission.

Meanwhile, on the subject to “enable the father to look after the mother and child“, the order also stated that the state to allow 15 days’ paternity leave grant to all male employees – again whether appointed on contract or ad-hoc basis.

Also Read: Sceptical Maneka Gandhi against paternity leave for Indian men

When two women, who work as a teacher on contractual basis and a contractual doctor working in a community health center opted to file a petition in the years 2014 and 2015 respectively, the bench looked after their written arguments and concluded the above decision.

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The bench directed to “grant maternity leave to the petitioner with full pay within eight weeks from today (December 15, 2016)”.

The court also instructed the chief secretary to take care of the matter personally and see that it gets properly implemented.

Needless to say that the HC now is considering women employees and their rights to daily wage very seriously and thus the urge direction was tabled. The grant embodies at least 60 days’ maternity leave to the daily wage female employees working for more than 240 days’ in a block of 12 months calendar with full wages “with liberty reserved to the mother to visit the creche/nursing care at least four times daily, including the interval for rest allowed to the employees”.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu Maternity Bill: Working Women Speak Out

The working women who adopted a child or would want to do so in future, also got a special mention here.

“The State Government is also directed that a female employee appointed on regular basis, contractual basis, ad hoc/tenure or temporary basis, with fewer than two surviving children, on valid adoption of a child below the age of one year be granted child adoption leave for a period of 135 days’ immediately after the date of valid adoption,” stated the order.

Also Read: TN Govt Ups Maternity Leave From 6 to 9 Months

“Whether appointed on contractual basis, ad hoc/tenure or temporary basis immediately before her delivery — thereafter to deprive her of maternity leave, adoption leave and child care leave etc”, the HC warned the state government from removing or similar kind procedure on any female employees.

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