All female central government employees will be entitled to 60 days of special maternity leave in case of the death of a child soon after birth. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued the order.
The Department of Personnel and Training said the decision to provide a special maternity leave was made keeping in view the potential emotional trauma caused due to the death of a child. Stillbirth or the death of a child soon after birth has a far-reaching impact on a mother’s life.
The department said it had received several queries requesting clarification regarding the grant of maternity leave in case of death of a stillbirth or death of a child soon after birth. The special maternity leave was considered in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Special Maternity Leave
The department said if a female central government employee has already availed of maternity leave and the leave continues till the date of the child’s death, the maternity leave can be converted into any other kind of leave available in her leave account. Special maternity leave of 60 days can be granted from the date of the child’s death.
The special maternity leave of 60 days can also be granted in case the female central government employee did not avail of the maternity leave.
The order was issued to all central government departments/ministries. The condition for death of a child soon after birth may be defined as up to 28 days after birth. A stillbirth may be defined as a baby born with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks of gestation.
The benefit of the special maternity leave will only be admissible to female central government employees with less than two surviving children and only for child delivery in an authorised hospital. An authorised hospital is a government hospital or private hospital under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
In case of emergency delivery in hospitals not empanelled under the CGHS, the production of an emergency certificate is mandatory.