Close on the heels of drafting a law to regulate surrogacy, the government has proposed to extend maternity leave benefits to surrogate and commissioning mothers also.
A commissioning mother is a woman uses a surrogate to bear a child. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) framed suggestions for women employees in the government that say surrogate/commissioning mothers be given six months’ maternity leave.
Presently, there is no provision for such leaves.
“The commissioning mother also requires time for bonding with her child and to take care of him or her and hence would also become eligible for child care leave,” the proposed rules put up on the DoPT website on Monday said.
The department also proposed that paternity leaves too be handed out to surrogate fathers. The government has sought comments on the proposal from stakeholders.
The government is additionally considering doing away with the age limit for child care leave in case of disabled children since the requirement of parental care may be more when such a child grows older.
“It may, therefore, be allowed for child care leave in the case of disabled children without any age limit and women employees can avail 730 days (or two years) of leave for this, the proposed rules say. Presently, child care leave is granted to women employees having minor children below the age of 18 years, for a maximum period of two years during their entire service.
The draft rules say women will also be able to take Leave Travel Concessions and leave the headquarters while on child care leave.