Single male parents working in the central government may soon get some good news as the seventh pay commission recommended on Thursday that they should also be allowed to avail child care leave (CCL). Those with children younger than 18 years of age would be able to draw this benefit.
So far, only female employees were granted fully paid CCL for a maximum period of two years, or 730 days, during their entire service.
Single mothers too stand to benefit. The pay panel has recommended that such employees be allowed to take CCL in six spells in a calendar year instead of the prevailing three spells for other female workers.
However, to check the misuse of child care leave by female employees, many of whom see it “as a benefit that has to be availed simply because it exists”, the commission has advised that the leave be granted at 100% of the salary for the first 365 days and 80% of the salary for the next 365 days.
The panel, however, has rejected the demand to increase both the maternity and paternity leave granted to government employees. While women would continue to get leave of up to 180 days for pregnancy, a male employee with fewer than two children would be granted a leave of 15 days “during his wife’s confinement”, up to 15 days before or six months from the date of delivery of the child.
The commission has also recommended abolition of the family planning allowance that varies between Rs 210 per month and Rs 1,000 per month depending on an employees pay grade, while noting that the level of awareness regarding appropriate family size had gone up among government servants.
“Hence, a separate allowance aimed towards population control is not required now,” the panel has recommended.