Women employees who have a child through surrogacy as well as those who bear the child on behalf of another woman will be entitled to maternity leave in Haryana, as per an official directive. This is a first for Haryana.
Referring to a judgment of the Delhi High Court and subsequent policy decision taken by the Centre, the state finance department on Wednesday issued the new directions to all the administrative secretaries, heads of departments, boards, corporations, divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners.
“It has been decided that the maternity leave will now be admissible to the commissioning mother — that is the woman employee who engages the services of another female to conceive a child with or without the genetic material being supplied by her and/or her male partner — and also to the surrogate mother — that is the female employee who bears a child on behalf of another woman either from her own egg fertilized by the other woman’s partner or from the implantation in her uterus of a fertilized egg from the other woman — on the same terms and conditions as prescribed for maternity leave admissible to a woman employee who conceives and carries the child,” it said.
Officials have been further directed that the “competent authority, based on material placed before it, would decide on the timing and the period for which maternity leave ought to be granted to a commissioning mother who adopts the surrogacy route”. The head of the respective department concerned will be the competent authority.
Officials will also be required to carry out a “keen and detailed scrutiny” when the leave is sought by a woman employee, who is the commissioning mother, of the pre-natal stage.
“In case maternity leave is declined at pre-natal stage, the competent authority would pass a reasoned order having regard to the material, if any, placed before it by the female employee who seeks to avail maternity leave,” it said.