Please advise can we have a separate clause added in our policy for maternity cases,that when a female employee joins back from maternity leave she will be liable to serve a minimum duration of 1 year otherwise she has to compensate the balance period from her basic salary.
We do have a common notice period policy for all employee but the management wants to add a separate clause in policy to control exit cases after maternity leave.

From India, Delhi
Dear Aarti,
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is an act of the Parliament passed in consonance with article 42 of our Constitution to ensure paid statutory leave and other benefits to the working women on account of maternity subject to certain conditions already stipulated. As such no employer can lay down further conditions so as to nullify the statutory benefits. Please, remember the right to maternity benefit is earned by the employee based on the length of her past service. Therefore, any condition stipulated further by an individual employer to relate it to future service would certainly be illegal.

From India, Salem
Dear Sir,
thanks for your inputs.
Could you please suggest what employer can do to retain the employees after completion of her maternity leaves.
Also, please advise will the female employee eligible to get earned leaves and casual leaves during the period she is on maternity leaves which she can avail post completion of her maternity leaves .
You valuable inputs will help to frame policies legally complied .

From India, Delhi
Dear Aarti,
I think that it is the first task to ascertain why women employees leave their job after availing maternity benefits. I don't think they leave because of better employment opportunities or any kind of displeasure with their current job or organization. On the contrary, it is the post-natal problems they have to tackle in the absence of family support. A mother's care and attention cannot be substituted in the development of a child. That's why the Maternity Rules prescribe creche facilities to be provided by the employers in certain cases. Unfortunately after the amendment enhancing the duration of maternity leave, most employers find it an additional liability making heavy inroads into their revenues. The State also is not prepared to share the additional financial liabilities in this regard to some extent, though it happens to be a Welfare State thus leaving it the sole burden of the employers concerned. Therefore, the HR Department in every organization should make a thorough study of this problem by means of exit interviews as well as suggesting suitable remedial measures like reduced task assignments during the six months following child delivery.
The maternity leave period can be added to compute the continuous service required for E.L but during this leave period, the woman cannot earn any E.L; when the C.L is annual based, the employer can relax the restriction on its availment post maternity.

From India, Salem
Dear madam,
Just to add a point to what is rightly stated by Mr Umakanthan.
To arrest attrition after maternity leave, you can consider introducing 'Work from home' and flexi- timing policy if you already don't have it, which possibly might help working mothers to handle better duel responsibilities- home and work.
This might be better solution than a bond of service.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai

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