The Maharashtra government has allowed the men in its workforce to avail 180 days of special leave to take care of their children in case their wives are not in a condition to take care of them, owing to poor mental or physical health or if they are bedridden.
The State government issued a government resolution (GR) on the issue called ‘Grant of Child Rearing Leave to the Government and Other Employees’. As per the GR, a male government employee will now be allowed to take childcare leaves in case his wife is unable to perform her duties as a mother, due to being mentally unstable or being bedridden. The leaves can be used to look after the first two children, aged below 18, for the exact duration that the wife is rendered incapacitated, with the maximum limit being 180 days. The leaves can be taken in a staggered manner, in three parts, in a single calendar year. But the GR states that the employees should not consider these leaves their right. They can only be sanctioned or approved by the concerned authorities according to the situation.
This special leave is applicable to Zila Parishad teachers as well as non-teaching staff; and also to teachers and staff of recognised and aided educational institutions, agriculture and non-agricultural universities and affiliated colleges.
However, while these leaves can be linked to paternity leaves, whether these leaves will be ‘paid’ or not is yet to be clarified.
While the staff on probation will not be eligible for these leaves, in case of emergency, special childcare leave for a minimum period can be sanctioned following extension of the probation period of the staff.