THE Central government is beginning to believe that childcare does not merely mean looking after the children’s needs only during examinations and when they are actually sick. Why not Child Care leave (CCL) be extended to the government employees for taking their children out for a vacation? In fact, the government has now proposed that its employees should be permitted to…“to leave headquarters/avail LTC while they are on CCL, provided clearances from appropriate competent authorities are taken while proceeding on foreign travel”, according to a DoPT-anchored inter-departmental discussion held on January 28, 2016, and reiterated in an office memorandum dated April 1, 2016. LTC means Leave Travel Concession (LTC), a provision under which government servants can travel with their families and get travel expenses reimbursed.
Currently, availing LTC is not allowed during the Child Care Leave. The provisions as they exist now don’t even allow the employee to leave headquarters during the CLL. “The underlying intent of CCL is to allow care of up to two children whether for rearing or to look after any of their needs like examination, sickness etc. Thus, it is not restricted to exam and sickness alone. Taking care may also include ensuring their rest and recreation and towards that objective leaving headquarters or availing LTC can be allowed”—said the discussion note.
The government has also proposed granting of 180 days of maternity leave to the surrogate as well as commissioning mothers, in case either or both of them are government servants. “The commissioning mother also requires time for bonding with her child and to take care of him/her and hence would also become eligible for Child Care Leave. Paternity Leave may also be granted in case of surrogacy”, the proposal says. At present, there is no provision for any kind of leave for surrogate/commissioning mothers.
Further, it’s also proposed that the age limit for CCL in case of disabled children needs to be done away with, as the requirement of parental care may be more/stronger when the disabled child grows older. “It may therefore be allowed to provide for CCL in the case of disabled children — the 'disability' being clearly defined by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment - without any age limit provided the maximum CCL that can be availed remains within the ceiling of 730 days”, the proposal says.