Thread Started by #Dinesh Divekar

Dear all,
On one of the WA groups of HRs, Administrator of the groups, Mr Rajaram Thorve, has raised the topic for discussion on “Impact of Maternity Leave on Company Finances and on Women’s Career. He has raised the following questions for discussion:
Q. 1 Is it true that The Maternity leave of six months & the Crèche are boon for female employees but curse for the organizations in compliance?
Q. 2 Is there any fault of female employees when the maternity leave or crèche facility to be given by the employer by the MBA?
Q. 3 Is there so much burden on the organizations in providing the maternity leave of six months twice to female employees in lifetime in view of their contribution to the organization?
Q. 4 Is it true that because of providing six months maternity leave, female employees are either not hired or terminated beyond ML on account of their non-availability at work?
Q. 5 Is it not an injustice on female employee for being gifted with motherhood for giving birth to both male and female but she is not treated well because of ML both by male and female bosses?
Q. 6 Is ML impacting on the career growth of female employees when time comes to giving them promotion or merit increments in view of their achievements in the organization?
I have given replies to the questions. These are as below:
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Dear Mr Rajaram Thorve,
The replies to your questions are as below:
Q. 1 Is it true that The Maternity leave of six months & the Crèche are boon for female employees but curse for the organizations in compliance?
Reply: - In India, Maternity Benefit Act was enforced in 1961. Major amendment took place Mar 2017 when the number of days of maternity leave was increased from 12 to 26 weeks. This has increased financial burden on the companies. However, it cannot be called as “curse” as such.
Secondly, shops and establishment act or factories act mandates to have creche facility. Therefore, facility of creche facility was new as such. Therefore, neither it is curse nor a burden.
Q. 2 Is there any fault of female employees when the maternity leave or crèche facility to be given by the employer by the MBA?
Reply: - Maternity Leave (ML) or crèche are the provisions of Maternity Benefit Act (MBA). For the constitutional provisions, female employees cannot be held responsible.
Q. 3 Is there so much burden on the organizations in providing the maternity leave of six months twice to female employees in lifetime in view of their contribution to the organization?
Reply: - Earlier there was provision of 12 weeks of ML. It was increased to 26 weeks. Let us calculate the increase in employee cost.
Suppose average company has 100 female employees. Generally, 5-10% of them avail of the ML. For the sake of simplicity, let us assume 8% of them avail of ML every year.
Earlier the pay-out on account of ML was for 12 x 8 = 96 weeks but now it is increased to
26 x 8 = 208 weeks
Therefore, additional ML cost = (208 – 96) = 112 weeks. This is equivalent to payment of a woman employee for 112 weeks or 28 months (approximately) per annum.
Since the woman employee is paid just the basic salary while on ML, it is difficult to do the calculations.
Unquantifiable costs: - When a trained woman employee remains absent for more than a half year, it throws the work of the company out of gear. Getting the right replacement is not that easy.
Q. 4 Is it true that because of providing six months maternity leave, female employees are either not hired or terminated beyond ML on account of their non-availability at work?
Reply: - This might happen in unprofessional companies. However, getting the right-skilled person is a challenge. Therefore, if a woman employee has specific skills, she will get a job anyway. There is a critical shortage of labour working in the factories like garment factory. Therefore, women working there also will not have a challenge. This challenge may come up for the women who do general work where getting their replacement is not that difficult.
Q. 5 Is it not an injustice on female employee for being gifted with motherhood for giving birth to both male and female but she is not treated well because of ML both by male and female bosses?
Reply: - Maltreatment to the woman employee because of the ML may arise or may not arise. In smaller companies this could happen may not be in bigger companies.
Q. 6 Is ML impacting on the career growth of female employees when time comes to giving them promotion or merit increments in view of their achievements in the organization?
Reply: - Whether ML imposes break or not depends on the social, family and economic conditions of the woman employee. On and above, occasionally few delivery cases became critical and woman might require longer break which could be on and above 26 weeks ML. Against this backdrop many women resign from their job but getting another job becomes difficult. However, this is applicable to the women handle general works and this need not be true for those who have special skillsets.
ML brings discontinuity in the career of the woman employee. This discontinuity impacts their promotion as well. However, career-conscious women do not allow their career to be impacted as a whole. Former Prime Minister of England, Ms Margaret Thatcher as well as of Pakistan Ms Benzir Bhutto, both had three children. Three pregnancies had no consequence on their political career. Both became Prime Minister anyway!
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar
24th July 2018 From India, Bangalore
Learned Member Divekar has given his views which are topical and on the dot.
I will only add that when Govt makes a law for social welfare,there will be a cost.
Nation has to bear it.
Women have had the rough end of the stick in India for long due to poverty.lack of education.But now things are changing/changed.
Women have shown their mettle in various fields.
These benefits are needed to boost their productivity in the long run.
ML and MB add to empowerment of women.
Short term costs should not be taken into a/c.
Every industry works for profit,but have a national responsibility also.
Therefore progressive industries should play their role in ensuring national objectives are met.
24th July 2018 From India, Pune
I don't differ from the views, however mostly in developed countries; the onus of paying for the Maternity Leave lies with a public entity and not on the employer solely. The maternity leave pay is majorly sourced from their Social Security. On the contrary, in India it's the employer who has to bear the entire expense of Maternity Benefit pay; while the government does nothing unless the employee falls in ESIC.
24th July 2018 From India, Delhi
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