Ministry of Labour to mandate creches in offices

Women who adopt infants, opt for surrogacy may get three months leave.

Written by Shalini Nair | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2015 4:14 am
creches, creshes in offices, creche facilities for employees, employees creche facility, Factories Act 1948, india latest news The crèche facility would be universally applicable to all establishments, whether public or private, such as call centres, media houses, IT firms and shops.

Employers in both government and private sectors will soon be required to provide crèche facilities for employees, either on the office premises or within a 500-metre distance.

The Ministry of Labour is expected to introduce a new provision in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which will mandate all establishments with 30 women or 50 employees, whichever is less, to ensure employees have access to crèches in the vicinity.

“The crèche facility would be universally applicable to all establishments, whether public or private, such as call centres, media houses, IT firms and shops. These crèches can be created either on a firm’s premises or two or more firms within 500 metres can pool their resources and create a community crèche,” said sources. Officials said the proposed move is aimed at increasing women’s participation in the workforce post childbirth. “We are hoping to bring in the amended Bill in the budget session of Parliament,” said an official.

The ministry has also proposed that women adopting children aged less than three months as well as those who opt for having a child through a surrogate should be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave.

The ministry is expected to seek cabinet approval for the amendments soon.

Until now, it was only the Factories Act, 1948, which made having a crèche compulsory in factories.

Labour ministry sources said they have deliberately kept their provision gender-neutral by using the word ‘employees’ instead of ‘women’. “There might be situations where the mother’s workplace is further away from home.

In such cases, fathers can take their children to the crèche at the workplace. Moreover, we want to promote a culture where childcare is as much as a father’s responsibility as it is the mother’s,” said an official.

As is the case in the Factories Act, it will be the responsibility of labour inspectors to ensure compliance. However, even within the limited scope of the Factories Act, not only has enforcement been poor, there is no consolidated data available with the central labour commissioner on compliance. Labour ministry officials said they will make it mandatory for labour inspectors to file inspection reports online on a quarterly basis.

The Maternity Benefit Act states that every woman who returns to work post-delivery should be allowed two breaks in the course of her day for nursing her child until he or she is 15 months old. However, a 2012 study showed that of all the women interviewed, a mere 4 per cent said they received the nursing breaks.

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  1. R
    Mar 12, 2017 at 8:40 am
    Apparently its a good move, but i have doubts on the long term effects/lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I dont know how small companies would afford these costs. In IT/Software/BFSI people barely stay for 2 years. Out of 24 months If company has to pay for 6 months and then pay for crèches, then they will never make any margins on female employees. Clients wont be paying companies extra based on gender ratios. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;These moves look good on paper, but I think most companies will limit the number of women in office and at higher ries, where it will impact the overall profitability. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I hope there are better ways to make it win-win for both sides. There needs to be deeper thought before we feel the joy of such moves.
  2. B
    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm
    I recommend Your Kids R Our Kids () to plan, build and operate onsite creches. They are experts.
  3. P
    Prabha Mishra
    Dec 1, 2016 at 10:51 am
    very good initiative. May all corporate sector implement the same.
  4. A
    Dec 30, 2015 at 7:50 am
    Very good idea. I should be made mandatory.
  5. G
    Dec 30, 2015 at 3:42 am
    instead of being taken to task for not having creches, firms would simply begin firing employees who demand the benefit. and get clear about this- it's an elitist law. will labourers get this facility?
  6. M
    madan gupta
    Dec 30, 2015 at 12:58 am
    कुछ बेड भी रखे जाएँ, यदि किसी का दिल करे तो अफसर के साथ एन्जॉय कर सकती है.
  7. M
    Meenal Mamdani
    Dec 30, 2015 at 3:14 am
    A very positive development that should be emulated by other countries too. And making the father equally responsible is such a progressive move. Never expected it from our patriarchal society. India is changing, slowly but surely. Creches/day care centers being close to place of work would also make it easier for the parent to keep an eye on the quality of care being given. As far as implementation is concerned, rather than depend on the inspector, depend on the people themselves. This requirement should be widely publicized along with a website where complaints can be sent. Parents themselves monitor the existence and quality of creche being offered.
  8. w
    Dec 30, 2015 at 9:20 am
    Very good initiative.. hope it gets implemented as soon as possible..
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